Mandi: The proliferation of engineering Institutes in the country is growing because of burgeoning demand taking a toll on quality of education and physical infrastructure, President Pranab Mukherjee said today. His speech which was read out at the second convocation of Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi, as Mukherjee could not visit the function because bad weather did not allow his helicopter to reach there.
In the speech, Mukherjee, expressed concerns at the findings of recent surveys which have not placed a single higher education institute of India in world rankings. Mukherjee said, “The growing demand for engineering education has resulted in the establishment of a number of technical institutions. Yet in this proliferation drive, quality of instruction and physical infrastructure has taken a backseat.”
“The educational standard of our country at the tertiary level has been starkly brought out by two reputed international surveys. They have graded not a single Indian institution amongst the top two hundred universities in the world,” he said.
The President said country has few institutions that can do much better in the rankings with a more proactive and methodological approach.
“A higher rank can open fresh avenues of growth and placement for students. It can also encourage a greater flow of faculty and students from abroad, opening new vistas of frontier technology,” he said.
Mukherjee said newly-created institutions will take some time to be in the reckoning.
“Nevertheless, you must take keen interest in the process not only with the objective of securing a rank but also to achieve all-round academic development,” he said.
The President said there is a need for greater dynamism in institutions to rejuvenate the higher education sector. “They must identify one or two departments, in which they have core competence, and nurture them into centres of excellence. The quality of faculty must be of a high order to provide students world-class instruction. With fast occurring changes in various disciplines, the faculty must keep themselves abreast with the latest developments,” he said.
The President asked the new IITs to leverage expertise of the older IITs and asked them to use National Knowledge Network which offers a platform for academic institutions to collaborate peer group learning in emerging areas. “Our educational institutions must make an effort to develop linkages with international academic institutions. In this context, it is heartening to note that IIT Mandi had signed an MOU in 2011 with TU9, the nine leading technical universities of Germany. You must make full use of these inter-linkages to provide global exposure to your faculty and students,” he said.