KURUKSHETRA, Apr 9: President Pranab Mukherjee today exhorted the academic institutions that they must recognise their outstanding teachers the efforts made by in inspiring the young minds to gather knowledge beyond text books.
Delivering his convocation address on the 10th convocation of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) here during its golden jubilee year, he said,”such teachers are catalysts for holistic learning and new thinking. Such inspired teachers’ could be encouraged to mentor junior teachers and students.”
Mr Mukherjee said topics of national relevance such as water, environment, health, education and urbanisation required indepth analysis and research.
“Our institutes of higher learning must provide an academic framework that would facilitate a better understanding of these issues by our policy makers,” he added.
Mr Mukherjee said that in a world of depleting natural resources, future growth would have to be secure by innovation and constant technology and upgradation.
“India’s innovation balance sheet is not at all very encouraging,” he added.
In 2011, he said, “42,000 patent applications were filed in our country as compared to over five lakh applications filed each in China and the US in the same year. As per a recent ‘Forbes’ survey, only three Indian companies had been listed amongst the world’s most innovative companies.
“This number would increase if the process of innovation was made a permanent feature in our institutions of learning. Our Universities, engineering colleges and research and development centers should be hotbeds of innovations,” he added.
Mr Mukherjee said,”in our engineering colleges and technical institutes there is also a need to proactively pursue the scaling up of research in cutting edge technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, embedded system design and technologies for sustainable development like renewable energy.”
He said,”our institutes of higher learning continue to be challenged by problems of quality. An independent survey indicated that there is not a single Indian university amongst the top 200 universities in the world. He said this was totally unacceptable.
The President said, this calls for drastic action to reform the way education is imparted in our universities and academic institutes. A culture of excellence should be embedded in the though process of our higher education providers.”
‘India is beginning to emerge as a knowledge economy. Our pool of qualified manpower will be the backbone of this new age. He hoped that NIT Kurukshetra will lead the way in transforming domain knowledge and skill into new competitive technologies for national reliance,” he added.
Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia said it was a matter of pride that NIT Kurukshetra was holding a leadership role in imparting quality education that developed innovative professionals and entrepreneurs and undertaking research programmes that generate cutting edge technologies focusing on socio-economic needs.
He said he was sure NIT Kurukshetra would also emerge as a role model in shaping the students’ lives by providing them quality education and enabling and equipping them to take global competition head on.
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda welcomed Mr Mukherjee to the state, especially to Kurukshetra, the sacred land of Bhagvad Gita. He exhorted the youth that they must show a sense of commitment and sincerity in performing their ‘Karma’.
“Be the best in whatever you do. You will undoubtedly succeed and make your institute, your parents and your nation proud,” he added.
Mr Hooda described human resource development as the most critical component in the task of nation building and said that improving the quality of manpower was a major challenge before us today.
“We in Haryana, are trying to meet this challenge by improving the physical infrastructure required for education and simultaneously by focusing on improving the quality of education,” he added.
Referring to the demographic trends, Mr Hooda said “we have a sizeable population of young boys and girls who would shape the future of our country. The society and the nation have done their duty by investing in their education.”
“Now, it is for them to make use of this investment. This nation expects them to become responsible citizens. The citizens who will be guided into constructive and productive work. Citizens who will harness new ideas and innovations for the betterment of the society. You will be the arbiters of your destiny as also that of this country’s future,” he added. (UNI)