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Education must deepen students-society relations: President


Stressing that India must follow a multi-disciplinary approach that allows students to learn and seek knowledge holistically, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said that education must deepen their linkage with society and develop a scientific temper in them.

“Our institutions must impart education to students that helps expand their intellect, form their character, instil in them a spirit of service and love for the motherland. It must equip them to face the struggles of real life. It must deepen the students’ linkage with society,” he said, adding that it was also necessary to develop in our students a scientific temper.

He was speaking here at the launch of ‘IMPRINT India’, a joint initiative of Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institute of Science, at the Visitors’ Conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The president said that “quality should not be sacrificed at the altar of expansion”. Greater number of institutions translate into greater number of seats, enhancing access in higher education, he said.

The president congratulated Indian institutes for breaking into the list of world’s top 200 institutes for the first time.

“I compliment the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, which is ranked 147th, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, which got 179th rank in the QS World University Rankings list of the world’s top 200 institutions,” the president said.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “human capital” was the biggest strength of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

“The biggest strength of ‘Make in India’ is human capital. Skill development is very essential for the success of ‘Make in India’ initiative,” said Modi.

Modi also laid stress on the importance of innovation and technology for the progress and development of the nation.

“Institutions of higher education should give primacy to innovation in learning,” he said.

IMPRINT India is a pan-IIT and IISc joint initiative to develop a roadmap for research to solve major engineering and technology challenges in 10 technology domains relevant to India.

Modi, who released the IMPRINT India brochure, said, “Science is universal but technology must be local. To achieve one’s dreams, innovation is the key. Society is becoming technology-driven. It is very important to understand the importance of this and look towards affordable technology.”

“Finding solutions to challenges like global warming and converting waste to wealth were key to the rise of India,” he added.

The prime minister exhorted institutions of higher learning to focus on areas such as defence manufacturing, also calling for enhanced industry-academia partnerships.

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