President Pranab Mukherjee said on Friday that success in the 21st century will increasingly depend on innovation and competitive use of knowledge, and the IIMs should assume greater responsibility to mitigate problems concerning the society.
Speaking at the fourth annual convocation of Indian Institute of Management (IIMs), Raipur, the president said that education enriches lives, advances thinking, propagates new thought and enhances human capacity.
Given that knowledge will spur growth in the future, he said, “it is essential that we prepare a large pool of skilled and capable manpower who can drive rapid economic growth of our country and enable us to deal with poverty, deprivation and backwardness”.
He said that most prosperous nations and societies have built their economic success on “the foundation of a sound education system and rich culture of research”.
The president said success in the 21st century “will be increasingly dependent on innovation and the competitive use of knowledge”.
He said the government plans to start SWAYAM or (Smart Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) courses in OPEN (Online Platform for Education) mode from 2015-16 for all learners interested in acquiring additional skills.
“This will enable our students and teachers (to) obtain quality education at a fraction of the cost while solving the issue of access to higher education in remotest areas of our country.
“It will also help overcome the faculty shortage which is constantly a constraint in almost all our institutions,” he said.
The president said that the academic institutes have to be dynamic and hands-on in facing emerging challenges.
“Institutions of higher education have to promote a culture of excellence and develop core competencies. They have to expand capacity to cater to more students and at the same time uphold the quality of instruction,” he said.
Terming research and innovation as the cornerstone of any academic endeavour, Mukherjee said: “It is innovation due to which industrial enterprises show high growth momentum and keep themselves ahead of their competitors.
As per a 2014 international survey, there are only five Indian firms amongst the world’s hundred most innovative companies, the president said: “We have to strive harder.”
The faculty in IIMs, Mukherjee said, should provide consultancy for policy and project implementation challenges that both union and state governments face.
He said the education students had received at the institute was a contribution of the nation, state and community.
“The nation invests in its institutions and universities because students are our future. Students, in turn, have an important responsibility not just to themselves and their families but also to this country and the community as whole.”
“I am confident that the students who have earned their degrees today will take part in nation-building of this great country in a meaningful way.”
Stating that the youths were the future stewards of the nation and inheritors of a glorious civilisation, the president said, “if targets such as eradication of poverty and health to all are to be achieved in the near future, it is the youth who have rise to the challenge”. (IANS)