President calls for innovative changes in academic system - The New Indian Express

President calls for innovative changes in academic system

Published: 08th September 2013 11:45 AM

Last Updated: 08th September 2013 11:57 AM

Expressing concern over the declining quality of higher education in the country, President Pranab Mukherjee  said improvement in the academic system calls for innovative changes.

“Our examination system must incorporate modern methods of evaluation and top quality teachers must be recruited,” Mukherjee said, while addressing the convocation of IIT-Bhubaneswar here on Saturday. A spirit of competition among the universities must be infused, he said, adding that academic regulations must be streamlined to create flexible, transparent and student-friendly education system.

The vision to take India into the league of leading nations can be possible only if the country has highly capable engineers, scientists, doctors, academicians and other intellectuals, the President said, adding  that a strong academic foundation is the basis for producing talented and trained people.

The President expressed his anguish over the fact that very few academic institutions can claim global reckoning on account of lack of quality though efforts at expanding higher education infrastructure have yielded positive results.

“There is not a single Indian university or IIT among the top 200 as per international ranking,” Mukherjee said and added, “leading universities of the West and universities in countries like China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are ranked higher than any Indian institution.”

“In the past, for about 1,800 years beginning 6th century BC, we had an unbeatable higher education system, but today we languish behind many nations,” he said.

Innovation is an important ‘cog’ in the wheel of development, Mukherjee said. A science, technology and innovation policy has been adopted this year to push the innovation frontiers and the mantle to make this policy successful and unleash inventiveness lies on the higher academic institutions, he added.

Mukherjee praised IIT-Bhubaneswar for seeking global academic cooperation through faculty exchange programmes with renowned universities in the US, the UK and Canada. “Its educational philosophy __ integration of academic through regimental disciplines is laudable,” he said.

The President conferred doctor of science degree (honoris causa) on three leading scientists, Prof Asit Kumar Biswas, Professor U R Rao and Professor Lord S Kumar Bhattacharya. Mukherjee also gave away the President’s gold medal to Vemireddy Hari of School of Mechanical Sciences.

Governor S C Jamir and Minister for Planning and Coordination Maheswar Mohanty were also present. Director of IIT-Bhubaneswar M Chakraborty gave the welcome address and Chairman of the Board of Governors S K Roongta proposed the vote of thanks.

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