Pressing for an overhaul of the country’s education sector, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said there is a need for investment and a comprehensive policy which will help India to adapt to changing global educational challenges.
“We should not only make investment in education but we must have a sound national education policy which will adapt to the changing needs,” he said at the convocation ceremony of Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya here.
The Government proposes to set up an education commission to draft a new education policy, Mukherjee said.
“The last modifications to the National Policy on Education took place in 1992 after that there has been a sea change in technology especially communication technology through Internet and mobile phones,” he said.
Emphasising on the need for investment in education sector, the President said, “If one investment can truly define a subtle linkage to future progress, it is investment in education.”
Noting that 72 per cent of Madhya Pradesh’s population is living in rural areas, Mukherjee said adequate interventions in terms of policies, plans and approaches are needed for the education of students drawn from tribal and rural backgrounds to make them globally competent.
He expressed concerns over the lack of quality in institutions to produce graduates for the global market.
“I am repeating like a parrot with my interaction with academics during and at other places I share my concerns which I first shared in 2012 at IIT Kharagpur how is it that no single Indian university finds its place in the top 200 universities of the world?” the President asked.
He said there was no dearth of “good quality” teachers and faculty which can facilitate “good quality” students and create a conducive atmosphere in institutions.
Calling for wide-ranging partnership between educational institutes and industry, Mukherjee said they should work together to provide better infrastructure for students.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state government ministers Kailash Vijaywargiya and Umashankar Gupta among others were present during the function at the university.
The University, which was established in 1964, is also alma mater of Mahajan and Vijaywargiya.
At Tri Nagar, Smriti Irani centered her speech around Modi, with over 10 references in 11-minute extempore.