Sonepat (Haryana), March 21 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee Thursday called for concrete steps to create a "culture of excellence" in higher education.
The president made the observation while inaugurating a three-day Conference on "The Future of Indian Universities" organised by the O.P. Jindal Global University here.
Mukherjee expressed deep concern about the staggering percentage of vacancies in central universities.
He called for qualitative improvements in the education "to make it as good as the best in the world". "We cannot improve quality of education without improving quality of teaching," he added.
The president urged the human resource development ministry and other bodies to work out a common approach towards improving quality, affordability and accessibility in the higher education policy.
He stressed the need to harness power of technology to improve teaching and to extend educational benefits to remote areas.
Referring to small number of patent applications filed in India as compared to developed countries, Mukherjee said that Universities should be fertile grounds for innovation and encourage grassroot innovations.
He emphasized the need for establishing world class universities in India, asserting it was time to redefine the way education was imparted in the country.
"We cannot expect to impart quality education without teachers who are most equipped to provide guidance to students and encourage research," the president said.
Naveen Jindal, chancellor of the university, announced the establishment of the Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, which will offer courses on the lines of US-based undergraduate programmes from 2014-15.