The Indian higher education system should not follow a “routine fashion”, said the President Pranab Mukherjee while addressing the 22nd convocation ceremony of the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong on 22 October 2013. There has to be an "elevated level of urgency" among administrators and academicians to keep on introducing research and innovation in curriculum in order to motivate students toward the same.
"Universities need to develop in their students a scientific temper and a curriculum that will encourage the growth of research and innovation," said the president.
Although, the country's efforts at stretching the infrastructure of higher education in India had yielded positive results, only a very few academic institutions in India has managed to gain global rankings, and this is due to lack of quality education, said the president.
President Mukherjee also lamented that not a single Indian university comes in the list of world’s top universities. "These rankings are based on certain specific criteria. The standards of our universities are much higher than what the rankings suggest but the universities have not been able to adequately present our cases for a higher ranking", he added.
Urging institutes to retain meritorious students and keep research activities at focal point, the President asked universities to maintain international exposure in terms of having visiting professors from abroad, and student and faculty exchange program.
Among all the analysis, President Mukherjee praised the Centre for Cultural and Creative Studies of NEHU for it’s working towards encouraging the artistic and cultural aspirations of the students. To preserve, protect and promote the rich diversity of the northeast, the centre is collaborating with the indigenous community of the state.
Acknowledging NEHU as a centre of empowerment for the people in the northeast, the President expressed his glee over gender parity in the student population -- a 1:1 ratio of male-female stddents, in the University. He also applauded the fact that women outperform men here.