KOLKATA: Former President Pranab Mukherjee today said free thinking and exchange of ideas can create a scientific temper and cultivate a spirit of curiosity in young minds.
Mukherjee, who was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) at the 62nd annual convocation of the Jadavpur University, said the institution has time and again participated in various activities for the welfare of the society and its people.
"It (the university) has championed the cause of many a social and political challenges and it should not waver from the path while pursuing academic excellence," he said.
Mukherjee said a holistic education plays a major role in shaping up a good human being.
"A good education system is one that empowers and enables an individual with social responsiveness," he said.
The former president also said that emerging economies like India should meet the development aspirations of its citizens and must build "an educational eco-system comparable with the best in world".
"There has to be sincere deliberations on various fora towards this end and the higher education sector must align itself with the global education sectors," Mukherjee said.
Institutions need to provide better emphasis on quality research work to get global recognition, the former president said.
"Aspiring universities should encourage mobility of persons and ideals across the globe. Adopting a world view would help institutions in getting accepted by the global community of higher education and it will add to their academic reputeÂ…" he said.
West Bengal Governor and the Chancellor of JU, K N Tripathi, on this occasion, advised students to put their knowledge to practical use.
"Let us remember a degree from an institution of higher education by itself is not the end... One has to put knowledge for practical useÂ…" he said.
Giving a brief history of the university's establishment, Vice chancellor Prof Suranjan Das said JU has always strove hard to achieve excellence.
The JU has secured the top ranking among state universities in National Institutional Ranking Framework of the Ministry of HRD. It had secured the 5th position among all universities and the 9th rank among all engineering institutions in the country, Das said.
A total of 1698 graduate students, 1402 post-graduate students, 168 M.Phil students and 397 PhD students were awarded degrees on this occasion.