Allahabad, Dec 25 : President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said despite achievements, it is widely recognized that our country''s education system is burdened with demands of both quantity and quality.
Speaking at the ninth convocation of Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT), here, Mukherjee said: "We need many more universities and technical institutions to be able to address the higher education needs of our increasing number of students. However, what we need most is to provide good quality education. I want to share with you my sense of disappointment on seeing, in recent reports, that not a single Indian University or Institute of higher learning figure in the list of top 200 Universities in the world. Whether the survey reflects the true position of our universities and Institutes is beside the point."
"Befitting our growing economic power status, we must raise the standards of our higher education to a level that we reach undisputedly among the top ten or at least top fifty in the world. In a globalised world, Indian institutions should aim not only at becoming top universities in India but also establish themselves as world class universities with international standards of research, teaching and learning," he said.
" To maintain high standards, institutions must constantly upgrade themselves. They must not only invest in infrastructure and use the latest technology in the imparting of education, but also engage outstanding faculty and update their courses and curriculum constantly with changing times,'' he added.
Mukherjee further said progress of a country cannot be guaranteed unless all sections of society take part in nation building to their full potential.
"Women must be accepted and seen as equal or more than equal partners in our progress and prosperity as a nation. The participation of women in higher education is, in general, lower than men, and in engineering, the situation is even more acute. I am told that in MNNIT, the percentage of female students in the last ten years was around 8 percent," he said.
"This is woefully short of what we should envisage as a nation of equal opportunity. I am hopeful that engineering as a discipline and a career of choice will attract many more girl students in the future,'' he added.
The President further congratulates the degree recipients and wish them all success in life and their careers.
"I call upon the graduates to uphold the dignity of their education and carry out their responsibilities towards society and the nation. The route to success may be a rocky one, but the person who completes the route has actually finished a pilgrimage - his roots are firm, and his foundations are strong. Keep the flame of innovation alive; never be lulled into complacency and never be lured by short-cuts," he added. (ANI)