At a special convocation of the University of Mumbai, President Pranab Mukherjee said that the higher education sector has an important role to play in the nation’s development. The convocation was held to confer Honorary Doctor of Law to famous agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan.
The convocation was held to confer Honorary Doctor of Law to famous agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan.
“We should embrace free conversation and even argument, leaving behind narrow mindsets and thoughts. The lesson for a modern Indian university is to ensure that this great tradition finds new life and vigour within its precincts,” Mukherjee said.
On the occasion of the university completing 160 years this year, the President also received the first postal stamp released there.
“There should be no room for intolerance, prejudice and hatred within spaces of our educational institutions,” he said.
(Read: President Pranab Mukherjee bats for ‘tolerance for pluralism)
India’s educational system in the past
Mukherjee, a history post-graduate himself, said ancient India was known for the high-level philosophical debates and discussions it nurtured.
“India was not a mere geographical expression but it reflected an idea and a culture. Conversation and dialogue are part of our ethos and life. They cannot be done away with. Universities and higher education institutions are the best fora for free exchange of views,” he said.
Emphasising on the importance of higher education on the economy, the President said, “The quality of training provided to students employed by the economy determines the level of its competence.
Mukherjee also said that courses in the campuses must be aligned to the needs of the industry.
“It will be beneficial to have corporate experts advising academic managers on industrial requirements in the course curricula,” the President said.