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President unhappy with quality of education in central varsities

Atiq Khan
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Expresses concern at the concerned at the number of vacant posts in the universities

President Pranab Mukherjee with Uttar Pradesh Governor B.L. Joshi, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav (right) and Minister of State for Human Resource Development Jitin Prasada at the 4th convocation of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow on Friday.— PHOTO: PTI
President Pranab Mukherjee with Uttar Pradesh Governor B.L. Joshi, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav (right) and Minister of State for Human Resource Development Jitin Prasada at the 4th convocation of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow on Friday.— PHOTO: PTI

President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday expressed concern at the increasing trend of crime against women and children and asserted that effective measures were needed to put an end to this menace.

Speaking as the chief guest at the fourth convocation of the Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University here, Mr. Mukherjee said that as education was a critical component in the nation’s progress and social change, educational institutions, especially universities, should lay emphasis on imparting moral values to students. Education served as the medium of nation- building at the macro level and character-building at the micro level.

The President, however, was not satisfied with the quality of education imparted in central universities. “About two lakh students are studying abroad and they should be drawn to pursue their education in the country.” Higher education must be made affordable for students, especially from economically weak background. It should be brought closer to the population by innovative techniques and knowledge-sharing.

Vacant posts

Mr. Mukerjee was equally concerned at the number of vacant posts in central universities. “There are 36 per cent vacancies in the central universities.” Teachers should be well-equipped in knowledge and at least one department should be made a centre of excellence in all universities, which should simultaneously promote research activities.

The country was on the threshold of a “demographic revolution,” wherein by 2020-21, 64 per cent of the population would be working. To reap the benefits, youth should be healthy and educated.

The President pointed out that while five lakh patent applications were filed in China and the United States in 2011, only 42,000 were filed in India. Only three Indian companies were among the 100 “most innovative companies” in the world.

Uttar Pradesh Governor B.L. Joshi said higher education was a powerful tool for building knowledge, and stressed upon need to improve the quality of education. The transition from interdisciplinary to trans-disciplinary approach should be managed as it profoundly affected the quality of education.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said research activities should be promoted in universities to improve the quality of education. At a time when the population of the aged was growing in other countries, India, particularly, Uttar Pradesh, was fortunate to have the maximum number of young population. Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Jitin Prasada emphasised need to train students in employable skills. He called upon teachers to prepare youth to play a key role in developing the country’s future.

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