Invest more in research and education, says Pranab Mukherjee

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Varanasi
  • Updated: May 13, 2016 11:05 IST
President Pranab Mukherjee addressing the gathering at the Swatantrata Bhavan in BHU on Thursday. (Rajesh Kumar/HT Photo)

President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday laid emphasis on substantial investment in research and higher education so that Indian universities could also be among the top ones in the world.

“We must substantially improve our research work quality of education. For that, we need to invest more in this sector. Currently, mere 0.26% of the total GDP of the country is invested in research in higher education. It is not adequate as compared to 3% investment in Japan, 2.8% in the USA and 2.2% in China,” he said.

The President was delivering a lecture at the BHU’s centennial year celebrations at the Swatantrata Bhavan here on Thursday. Mukherjee said the government must take measure in this regard.

“We have more than 729 universities and 36,000 colleges. But how many of them are imparting quality education as per the world standards. I congratulate two of the Indian institutes which ranked amongst the top 200 universities in the world by international rating agencies,” he said.

“It doesn’t mean that Indian students lack talent. We have seen some of Indians getting the coveted Nobel Prize. Subramanyan Chandrasekhar and Hargovind Khurana are among them who were awarded for their merit. After 1930 after CV Raman, not even a single research scholar from any Indian university got the prize,” he said.

“There was a time when India played a dominant role in the field of higher education. We had renowned seats of learning like Taxila, Nalanda and Vikramashila. However after them, we have not been able to find a place in world rankings commensurate with our size, culture and civilization,” Mukherjee added.

He lauded Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya for founding the BHU. “He wanted to develop scientific temperament among students while making them sensitive towards outer world and core civilization values which are always important. He didn’t want students to turn robot,” Mukherjee said.

“Despite different languages, customs, and different dialects, we have one thing in common that we all are Indians,” he averred.

“India now has to work towards regaining its past glory. Being Visitor to 114 institutions of higher learning, I have been regularly stressing on how to improve ranking. I refuse to believe that not a single university can match to the standard required for being among the top two hundred universities in the world,” Mukherjee shared.

“It is my firm belief that there are many higher educational institutions in India that have the potential to become one of the best in the world,” he hoped.

On the occasion, UP governor Ram Naik released Rs 10 and Rs 100 commemorative coins on the BHU and presented them to the first citizen of India. The President also garlanded the statue of Mahamana Malaviya.

Chancellor of the BHU Dr Karn Singh and vice chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi welcomed Mukerjee at the gate of the Swatantrata Bhavan.

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