Promote environment where youth can speak mind: President

Kolkata, Jan 20 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday emphasised the need to focus on promotion of an environment by the institutions of higher education where the youth can speak their mind.

He underscored the importance on promotion of an environment where the youth can speak their minds and have the confidence to look for ground breaking, creative solutions.

He said: “Indian institutes should strive hard to promote world standards of research and innovation to bring global laurels to the nation. Only two IITs have now made it to the world’s top 200 institutes.”

Inaugurating the bicentennial celebrations of the Presidency University here, the President said that India requires innovative ideas and solutions to its multifarious problems.

“And, therefore, one of the objectives of higher education is to nurture in students imagination that would encourage them to think out of the box. It is not enough for students to pass exams with high grades and take up professions of their choice,” he noted.

He lauded the glorious heritage of the varsity and exceptional efforts of its founders and faculty as well as the outstanding alumni of global repute.

Mukherjee said that he has been consistently calling upon institutions of higher learning to innovate and expressed happiness that the culture of innovation has taken deep roots in Presidency University.

He also thanked the West Bengal government for upgrading the Presidency College to the University and said he wants to see the Presidency lead the educational arena in bringing the change for excellence in research and innovation.

Recalling the contribution of Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, Radha Kanta Deb and many others who helped establish the institution, the president said they established the institute as a place for liberal, scientific and secular education based on western ideas of nationalism.

“The institution rose to become the institutional as well as intellectual manifestation of the Bengali renaissance and, progressively, that of the Indian renaissance that finally provided the ideological moorings of the Indian Nation State,” he said.

In this contest, he expressed the hope that the rich tradition of the faculty members such as Jagadish Chandra Bose, Prafulla Chandra Ray, P. C. Mahalanobis, Satyendranath Bose, Meghnad Saha, Susovan Sarkar and many others will continue to flourish.