Delhi University, all institutes need to innovate, adapt to change, says President Kovind

Addressing DU’s 94th annual convocation,President Kovind said, “We are entering a world where artificial intelligence is changing not just how our society does, but how it thinks”

education Updated: Nov 18, 2017 19:58 IST
Asian News International
Asian News International
Asian News International
DU,Delhi University,DU convocation
President Ram Nath Kovind interacts with HRD minister Prakash Javedkar during the 94th annual convocation of the University of Delhi at New Delhi on Saturday.(PTI)

New Delhi President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday urged faculty and students of Delhi University to adapt to changing trends in higher education to be competitive and counted with the rest of the world.

Addressing the 94th annual convocation of the University of Delhi here,President Kovind said, “We are entering a world where artificial intelligence is changing not just how our society ‘does’, but how it ‘thinks’. We are at the edge of a society of cognitive machines. As such, the challenges and the opportunities before us are immense.”

“Our leading institutions, such as the University of Delhi, will need to adapt as well. They will need to innovate - both in terms of academic content and mechanism of delivery. Traditional barriers between fields that were once regarded as sacrosanct are breaking down. New courses and programmes will have to be devised if our education system is to answer the needs of the next 25 or 30 years. Some of these may call for adopting a multi-disciplinary or inter-disciplinary approach,” he added.

President Ram Nath Kovind presents a degree to a student at the DU convocation. (PTI)

“The University of Delhi is in many ways the university of India. Every state and region of our country is represented here. Each year thousands of eager young boys and girls travel to Delhi and apply to the University of Delhi or its affiliated colleges. The university is a big attraction for many young students from the northeast. They add to the richness and vibrancy of the university campus and of the city of Delhi,” the president said.

He said that the capacity of physical classrooms was obviously limited.

“We need to explore how we can use technology to take scholarship and education further. The University of Delhi, like many other universities across the world, has taken steps to begin massive open online courses. As broadband penetration deepens in our country. It has an exciting potential to democratise knowledge,” he added.

Another student receives her degree. (PTI)

On the purposes served by higher education, the president said it prepared students for the job market, but there was more to it than that. At the end of the day, universities were truly meaningful only if they promoted the adventure of learning and exploration of knowledge. Blue-sky innovation was the test of a genuinely world-class higher education system and institution.

He said it was critical to find the right balance between these different demands on India’s universities. Quick wins had their place, but universities could not lose sight of the long-term goal of building a knowledge society.

Mentioning that he had been told about certain vacancies at the level of college principals and senior faculty positions the president said he was confident that the University authorities and college managements were taking all steps to fill these positions at the earliest.

First Published: Nov 18, 2017 19:50 IST