New Delhi: Amid controversies surrounding universities and campus violence, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said educational institutions must inculcate in students vital qualities like “love for motherland, tolerance for pluralism and self-restraint in conduct”.
“The role of educational institutions goes beyond mere pedagogy and classrooms. It is incumbent on them to mould students into responsible human beings. They have to instill in the students the civilisational values of love for motherland, performance of duty, compassion for all, tolerance for pluralism, respect for women, honesty in life, self-restraint in conduct, responsibility in action, and discipline,” Mukherjee said delivering the first Arjun Singh memorial lecture here.
The president lamented that quality of education in most institutes in the country were not up to the expected standards.
It was ironical, Mukherjee said, that the existing higher education system most often lose out “world class scholars” to the foreign universities.
He also pointed out that “none of our universities earlier found a place amongst the top 200 positions in world university rankings”.
“Unfortunately, the quality of education in most of our institutes is below par. If we delve into our past, we could find renowned seats of higher learning — Nalanda, Takshashila, Vikramashila, Valabhi, Somapura and Odantapuri — that dominated the world higher education system for 1,800 years beginning 6th century B.C.
“A different scenario is noticeable today,” he said.
Maintaining that a number of meritorious Indian students pursue their higher studies from foreign universities, he said even Nobel laureates Har Gobind Khorana, Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar, Amartya Sen and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan could not be retained in Indian universities.
“Since 1930, no scholar from an Indian university has won the Nobel Prize. It is ironical that our higher education system, which is capable of producing world-class scholars, loses them to foreign universities,” he said.
Suggesting healthy interface between industry and higher educational institutions, he said research and innovation — the two keystones for widening the country’s production potential — remains a neglected area.
“Our future growth will result not so much from the utilisation of our resources with existing technology than from its better usage through more advanced technology.
“Unfortunately, investment in research in our country is lacking,” he said, adding
that while 3. 6 percent of GDP go out in Japan and 2.7 percent in the US for research works, India’s research and development expenditure as percentage of GDP stood at mere 0.8 percent.