Former President Pranab Mukherjee while delivering his address after inaugurating a 3-day international conference at the O P Jindal Global University, here, emphasised on the need for better “quality of instruction, faculty, research and capacity building for Indian universities. Speaking at the inauguration of an international conference on ‘Universities of the Future,’ Mukherjee added, “Knowledge mobilisation through quality higher education is pivotal to the socio-economic development of a nation. Innovation and futuristic universities are the driving force behind this.”
Transforming Higher Education
Bemoaning the fact that Indian universities have failed to make it to the lists of top 200 universities in the world, Mukherjee spoke of transforming our varsities into centres of excellence is the key challenge policy-maker and academic leaders face. An important necessity of modern Universities is to have a chain of inspired teachers who can ignite the minds of students and encourage them to think out-of-the box, and for solving the societal problems through their ingenuity, Mukherjee said. Educational institutions have to gear up to face the socio-economic challenge the country is facing in terms of job creation, Mukherjee said
Linkages: Education, Industry and Market
“Quality, affordability and accessibility are the three cornerstones of higher education which need to be understood in the Indian context,” he said while advocating linkages with the best universities in the world to ensure student mobility, research and joint projects. Mukherjee also emphasised that the education system should take on the challenge of tapping the ‘demographic dividend’ while also pitching for a stronger industry-academia partnership. “We will also have to provide a competent skilled workforce,” he said. The President said that it was essential to establish linkages between innovation and the market. Strong linkages ought to be established with all the stakeholders in society, and that an interface between education and industry must be supported by all Future Universities of our country, he added.