Sonipat (Haryana), March 21 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee Thursday said the country can become "grievously handicapped" if its standard of higher education does not improve, and called for "a culture of excellence in educational system".
"It is a matter of concern that there is not a single Indian university in the top 200 universities of the world as per an international survey," Mukherjee said at a conference here on 'The Future of Indian Universities: Comparative Perspectives on Higher Education Reforms for a Knowledge Society'.
"This position is not at all acceptable. This calls for serious introspection. With educational standards that fall short of international benchmarks, India would be grievously handicapped in this competitive world," he said.
Citing the 2006 National Knowledge Commission Report, Mukherjee described the falling standards of higher education as a "quiet crisis that runs deep".
"We cannot wait any longer before we take remedial action. We do not have the luxury of time," he said.
"We must promote a culture of excellence in our educational system. To achieve this, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the University Grants Commission and the universities would have to work together in close collaboration," he said.