Not enough quality institutions in higher education: Mukherjee

Indore, June 8 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee Saturday said that no Indian institution figures in the list of top 200 universities in the world and added that higher education does not have enough quality institutions.

Addressing the first convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology, Indore, the president said that the drive to enhance the quality of education should engage the attention of policy makers alongside moves being made to increase the number of higher educational institutions.

“It is a matter of concern that the list of the top 200 universities in the world does not contain a single Indian institution. The past has not been like this. Ancient Indian universities like Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramashila, Valabhi, Somapura and Odantapuri had dominated the world higher education system for many years,” the president said.

Noting that affordability, accessibility and availability were the key in higher education, Mukherjee said technology can enable refinement in teaching methodology.

“It can address the challenges of quantity, quality, accessibility and faculty shortage. E-classrooms permit information and knowledge sharing by wider dispersal of lectures overcoming distance,” the president said.

He said that pass-outs from higher education centres should be better prepared for a highly competitive world.

“Centres of higher learning should have the expertise to impart such skills training. They should emphasise on research, innovation and development,” he said.

He said the passing out of the first batch of 101 engineering students graduating from IIT Indore was a major milestone in the annals of the institute.

Mukherjee said that IIT alumni was active in the affairs of top universities in the US, including Harvard, and hoped that the students leaving the portals of IIT-Indore would continue their association with their alma mater in a meaningful way.

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