The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee attended the 8th Convocation of the Lovely Professional University (LPU) today (May 2, 2017) at Phagwara, Punjab.
Speaking on the occasion, the President reiterated his call for enhancing the quality of basic as well as applied research in institutions of higher learning in the country. Stating that good placement records alone do not bear testimony to an institution’s international ranking, he stressed that for quality of higher education in the country to improve, it was necessary that importance be given to nurturing intellectual capital in institutions.
Pointing out that the LPU has students from more than 50 Countries, the President said while this was a good achievement, one couldn’t be satisfied with just this. He recalled that India, with its Universities in Taxila and Nalanda had been a world leader in higher education for more than 1300 years. It was time that all our Institutions of higher learning once again strove to become magnets for mighty minds – students and faculty from all across the world. The trend of Indian students going abroad for higher studies will have to be reversed, and only then will our education system succeed.
The President said in a nation of 1.3 billion people, 757 Universities and more than 38,000 degree colleges is insufficient. More people require to have access to higher education. However, increasing numbers alone is not enough. It is essential that mind is applied to enhancing numbers with commensurate enhancement in the quality of education being offered.
The President emphasized the importance of research and cross fertilization of ideas in higher education institutions. He said it was such a free flow of ideas from across the world that had led to flowering of great diversity in India. This diversity was the key quality of our civilization.