It is unfortunate that none of Indian universities figure in the top 200 universities in the world, said Union Human Resource Development Minister MM Pallam Raju.
“There are many degree-awarding institutions in our country, but most of them lack quality. For shortage of good academic institutions, many meritorious students prefer foreign institutions for higher studies,” he said while addressing the third convocation of Central University of Odisha at its Landiguda campus near Koraput on Monday.
The Union Minister said necessary steps need to be taken to revive the lost glory of Indian higher education system as enumerated in the country’s history and take at least a few of the existing universities into the global top league.
“The higher education sector is undergoing expansion as the Government aims to increase enrolment of students by the end of 12th Plan period,” said Raju. “The Union Government established Central University of Odisha in the KBK region in order to address the concern of equity and offer the opportunity of higher education to students of backward areas.”
The HRD Minister said the drive towards innovation should benefit the persons who are not sound and stable from the socio-economic point of view. “Though innovation is the key to future progress, the drive for innovation in our country is weak as we lack the systems that encourage and generate innovations. There is a need to strengthen the system of research mobilisation, inter-disciplinary and inter-university research collaborations and industry-academia collaboration,” he said, adding that distributive justice, as a higher goal of democratic polity, can be achieved only through a sound education system.
At the convention, social activist Tulsi Munda was conferred the Honoris Causa and eight students of the university who have secured top positions in their respective departments were awarded the Gold Medals for 2011-13 academic session.
In his presidential address, Prof K Srinath Reddy, Chancellor of the University, described the nature of modern education as ‘problem solving education’ and opined that education should pass through stages of knowledge and information and enable transformation.
Earlier, the University’s Vice-Chancellor Surabhi Banerjee informed that the University is planning to open new courses in the academic session of 2013-2014.
The VC added that the University will move to its new campus at Sunabeda soon from its existing campus at Landiguda.
“The new campus is spread over 430 acres and we have already completed majority of infrastructure works there,” she said.
Banerjee informed that the UGC has sanctioned 61 more teaching posts for the University this year. As of now, there are 30 regular and 12 contractual teachers in the Central University.