New Delhi: Regretting that many institutes in India lack quality leading to outbound flow of students, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday emphasised on revamping the education system, retaining bright minds and attracting talent from abroad.
"... It is also a fact that an all-out effort to revamp our academic system is the need of the hour. Some of the immediate steps would be to ramp up physical infrastructure including classrooms, fill up vacant faculty positions, attract talent from abroad, review and change curriculum," he said.
Mukherjee was addressing the convocation function of Jamia Millia Islamia University here.
He said though there are over 723 universities and 37,000 colleges, lack of quality is denying students world-class education and bright students are leaving the shores to pursue studies abroad.
He said leading institutions have to approach the ratings process in a more systematic and proactive manner as there is not a single Indian institution among the top 200 universities in the world even as they are better than what the "rankings project".
He also strongly pitched for making the institutions "hotbeds" of research activity, saying "we as a society will fail to realise the potential that we otherwise are destined to achieve. We have to make teaching and research an attractive career opportunity".
He said that while the successful Mars Orbiter Mission is a testimony to the country's growing scientific prowess, there is a general neglect on research. The focus on research activity is lacking in our universities.
Universities also need to actively participants in programmes and undertake outreach activities the success of recent government initiatives aimed at financial inclusion, creation of model villages, clean India and digital infrastructure, he underlined.
Highlighting the rich legacy of Jamia Millia Islamia, Mukherjee said that since its inception, the university has fostered understanding of India's rich history and culture, including the cultural traditions of Islam. It has also been a proponent of gender and social equality.