President Pranab Mukherjee Seeks Research Excellence for the Future of Indian Universities

Highlights critical issues in higher education in India and talks about the need for freedom of higher educational institutions

‘The Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives’, a book edited by Professor Dr. C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice-Chancellor of O. P. Jindal Global University (JGU), was released by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 17th July 2017. President Pranab Mukherjee was presented with the first copy of the book, published by Oxford University Press.

Speaking on the occasion, President Pranab Mukherjee said, “I congratulate Professor Raj Kumar and all contributors for their efforts in coming up with a book on the future of universities in India, which is a very pertinent topic.”

Talking about the contemporary issues plaguing higher education sector, President Mukherjee said, “Our needs today are much more complex, along with the post-independence emphasis on nation-building through institution-building, we are now increasingly being called upon to think about the role of Universities in the larger global context of an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.”

 Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen, Thomas W. Lamont Professor & Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University delivered a special address on the occasion. Professor Sen said, “This book is important because of the collaborative efforts of remarkable scholars who have raised questions regarding the quality and excellence of higher education in India.”

He further emphasized on the need for freedom and autonomy of higher educational institutions in India and said, “We need to think about why India does not rank among the top 200 universities in the world. The difference between Indian Universities and those in other countries is that they are autonomous and free from political policies and obstacles.”

Naveen Jindal, Founding Chancellor, JGU graced the function and shared his views on the subject. Naveen Jindal asserted JGU’s commitment to shaping India's aspirations of building world class universities through comparative and international dimensions.

Dr. Virander S. Chauhan, Acting Chairman, University Grants Commission in his keynote address said, “The quality of higher education in India has to be viewed not just by students, but parents and teachers as well. Indian Universities have tremendous potential and need to accelerate their pace.”

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