Port Louis: Young people, who constitute the next generation, should have a say in tackling the challenges faced by developing nations, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Wednesday as he was conferred an honorary degree of doctorate by the University of Mauritius here.
Mukherjee, on a three-day visit to Mauritius, was honoured with a Doctor of Civil Law degree at a ceremony at the university.
"As the next generation, young people should have a say in determining our responses to the variety of challenges that our developing nations face today," Mukherjee said as he welcomed the increasing number of Mauritian-origin student coming to India for higher studies.
"Nearly 100 scholarships are offered annually to Mauritian students to pursue under-graduate, post-graduate and research studies in various streams in India. This is in addition to 290 slots for short term courses under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.
"In recent years, we have seen an upswing in the number of Mauritian students availing of these scholarships. Many Mauritian students also enrol themselves in Indian universities on a self-financing basis. We welcome them in India," he said.
Mukherjee said the investment in education by the founding fathers of the country "continues to reap rich dividends for Mauritius and has been one of the reasons for the praiseworthy level of development that we see in Mauritius today."
The President thanked the University for honouring him as he lauded its academic excellence.
"This University has a rich tradition of providing quality education that responds responding to the contemporary needs of Mauritian society," he said.
Mukherjee also spoke words of praise for the Mauritians.
"Every Mauritian, regardless of his ethnic or religious background should be proud of the remarkable achievements of this country.
"Not only has Mauritius triumphed in the realisation of its democratic and secular ideals but it has also registered a commendable rate of economic growth and established for its citizens the strong institutions that make Mauritius a well integrated and progressive people.
"Today, Mauritius figures high in economic and social development indicators in Africa and has become a role model to many countries because of its economic success story," he said.
Mukherjee expressed his happiness over the signing of a number of bi-lateral treaties during his visit which began on March 11.
"I am happy to note that several agreements have been signed during my visit in key sectors of our respective economies including tourism, health and medicine, co-operation in the addressing the issues related to senior citizens and disabilities.