‘Why are we, a rising economic superpower, unable to promote our standards?’
President Pranab Mukherjee said on Saturday it was sad that as per recent reports not a single Indian university figured on the list of 200 top-rated universities globally.
“I feel I should share with you, my sense of dismay on seeing in recent reports, that not a single Indian university or institute of higher learning, including the premier IITs, figures in the list of 200 top-rated universities globally,” Mr. Mukherjee said at the 58th annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology - Kharagpur.
Stating that some people might question such surveys, he pointed out that the question that came to his mind was: “Why are we, a rising economic superpower, unable to promote our standards, so as to be rated, indisputably, among the top 10 or even top 50 or 100?”
Mr. Mukherjee emphasised that there was an urgent need to develop a “scientific temperament” and provide “appropriate learning experiences” to the students.
There must be more collaboration, exchanges, and cross-pollination with the best minds in India and abroad, he said.
“I stress that IITs, as leaders, have the responsibility of providing continuous revitalisation in their institutions through research, experimentation, and innovation,” he said.
Welcoming IIT Kharagpur’s ‘Vision 2020,’ aimed at getting into the list of top 20 global education institutes by the year 2020, he wished the institute success in its future pursuits.
Mr. Mukherjee said IIT Kharagpur, from its inception, had been infused with a “pioneering spirit,” pointing out that perhaps it was so because the institute was housed in a building hallowed by some of India’s greatest freedom fighters.
He recalled how the sacrifice of freedom fighters at the Hijli detention camp, which later became the first IIT (IIT Kharagpur), had galvanised national leaders.
Mr. Mukherjee also described the IIT system as a “symbol of progress and success of India in the field of technology,” and added that IIT’s alumni were achievers and leaders in every sphere of human activity.
He advised the graduating students that “creation of jobs” should always be among their priorities when they conceived new concepts and ideas.
West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan said IITs had become an “international brand,” and had put India on the technology map.
“Each of the graduating batch of students not only adds lustre to the institute, but also brings glory to the nation,” he said.