Chennai, Dec 28 (IANS) Stating that there was need to improve the quality of higher education in India, President Pranab Mukherjee Friday expressed concern over Indian universities not figuring in any international rank charts and said the private sector could play a role in fulfilling educational aspirations of the young and raising standards.
"The standards of higher education in India today need improvement," Mukherjee said while addressing at the convocation of SRM University here.
"We need universities to provide quality education that meet international benchmarks. We must change the reality of our universities not figuring in the list of top universities of the world," he said.
No Indian university figures in the first 200 ranks in prestigious Times Higher Education survey for 2011-12.
The president pointed out that participation of private sector is very important in this process.
"With unlimited demands and limited resources, it is important that the private sector also contributes its best to the provision of higher education in India. The private sector has played a key role in higher education in other countries across the world. Many top universities, including Harvard, Yale and Stanford are the result of efforts of the private sector. There is no reason why Indian private sector cannot achieve similar results," he said.
He also said Indians in general were apprehensive about private universities, and "prefer education in old and established public universities as opposed to private universities which are mostly newly built".
"To build the trust of the people, private universities must constantly prove themselves because they do not have the benefit of age. They must be able to promise a good future to the students and make sure that they fulfil all of their promises," he said.
The president also expressed concern over shortage of good faculty in universities.