Allahabad: Voicing disappointment over Indian Universities failing to figure among top institutes globally, President Pranab Mukherjee said a lot needs to be done to expand research and innovation activities as India was still lagging behind many other countries like China.
The President, who attributed India's "remarkable resilience" in handling the economic meltdown partly to its strong foundation in higher education sector, said the country must raise the standards of higher education to a level befitting its growing economic power status.
Addressing the annual convocation of the Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology here, Mukherjee said though India's growth rate had slightly contracted since 2010-11 in the face of global economic meltdown, India has been able to withstand the crisis and has shown a remarkable resilience in handling the economy.
However, he said "we lag far behind many other countries in research and innovation", adding the total number of patent applications filed by Indians in 2010 was around six thousand which was only 0.30 per cent of the total applications filed in the world.
"....it pales in comparison to over 3 lakh applications by Chinese, around 1.7 lakh filed by Germans, 4.64 lakh filed by Japanese and 4.2 lakh filed by Americans," the President said. The Pressident said one of the key factors behind India’s economic "resilience is the strong foundation it has established since independence in the field of higher education".
Observing that the country needs many more universities and technical institutions to be able to address the higher education needs of the increasing number of students, he said, "I want to share with you my sense of disappointment on seeing, in recent reports, that not a single Indian University or Institute of higher learning figure in the list of top 200 Universities in the world.
"Whether the survey reflects the true position of our Universities and Institutes is beside the point. "Befitting our growing economic power status, we must raise the standards of our higher education to a level that we reach undisputedly among the top ten or at least top fifty in the world," he said.
The President said the growth rate that India enjoys is second only to China among the major economies in the world. "In six out of the last nine years, we managed a growth rate in excess of 8 per cent.
"Though the growth rate had slightly contracted since 2010-11 in the face of global economic meltdown, India has been able to withstand the crisis and has shown a remarkable resilience," he said.
He said the country is fast becoming a major economic power. "In terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), we are the third largest economy in the world."