With India emerging in the forefront of the "innovative world", the universities should focus more on research so that the country can build on its achievements in various areas such as biotechnology and nuclear science, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.
At the same time, Singh pointed out that accelerating technological and social changes have put new pressures on individuals and society leading to great and urgent challenges and stressed on the need for value based education.
"Today we cannot succeed without providing value based education to our youth," he said addressing students at the convocation of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning here.
Observing that the country required global leaders in education, entrepreneurship, technology and management, Singh said, "We must create systems and opportunities where they will acquire the skills to enable them to excel not just in India, but also increasingly on the global stage.
"As India modernizes, grows and plays a larger role in world affairs, we will need an ever-expanding pool of human resources, the quality of which will have to be second to none," he said, adding, "We are now emerging in the forefront of the innovative world and we need researchers and inventors who will create the technologies and systems of the future".
The Prime Minister said scientists and technicians have already achieved renown in areas like IT, pharmacological sciences and biotechnology, space and nuclear technology. "If we are to sustain and expand this, it is vitally important that our universities become more prolific in research on a much larger scale".
The university education also needed to shape students who would meet the needs of a modern, rapidly growing economy and a fast changing society, Singh said.
Referring to various works in the field of water supply, education, medical and health undertaken by Shri Sathya Sai Baba to alleviate the sufferings of the poor and the needy, Singh said "such benevolence and philanthropy should be an example to the many in our country who have the means, but are yet not able to emulate it".
The Prime Minister also asked the students to reach out to those less fortunate and less privileged. "I am not talking about charity. I have in mind the idea of sharing, of giving of yourselves, your abilities and skills, to lend a helping hand where nobody else stands ready," he said.