President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Maharaja Agrasen University at Kalujhanda in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan district on Saturday, and stressed on the need to instill a culture of excellence among stuendts. He said every university should identify at least one department that can be made into a Centre of Excellence.
Mukherjee said that the evolving demographic profile of India, with two-third of its population expected to be in the working age group by 2025, presents “before us an opportunity for greater development.”
“This demographic dividend is for our taking, but for that, our youth must be qualified and trained to participate in national progress,” he added.
“It is possible to revive the lost glory of our higher education system and take at least a few of our universities into the global top league. But for that, we have to make innovative changes in the way our institutes of higher learning are administered and education in them rendered,” Mukherjee further said.
He said that investment in education in an investment in future. I compliment the Himachal Pradesh Government for their foresight in facilitating the establishment of this higher educational institute in the state. I hope this University will fulfill the unmet need for higher education in this region, he added.
President of India on Saturday said that the education is a powerful tool for social transformation. He expressed concern over the recent increase in cases of brutal assault on women and children have shaken the collective conscience of our nation.
“These unfortunate incidents call for effective measures for their safety and security. It also underscores urgency for us to introspect and find solutions to arrest the erosion of values in our society. Our educational institutions beginning from schools should take the lead in meeting the moral challenges of our times and ensure that our civilizational values of love for motherland; performance of duty; compassion for all; tolerance for pluralism; respect for women and elderly; truth and honesty in life; discipline and self-restraint in conduct, and responsibility in action are fully entrenched in the young minds,”he added.
“We have over six hundred fifty degree awarding institutions and over thirty three thousand colleges. But we are short of good quality academic institutions, on account of which, many bright students prefer going abroad for higher studies,” he added.
He said that we must harness technologies like e-education to take quality education to masses. The National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology is an important initiative for facilitating information and knowledge sharing. It is possible to share important lectures through e-classrooms with students studying in far off locations.