Indian President Mukherjee Calls for Fundamental Reforms in Higher Education

New Delhi, July 19, 2017:

‘The Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives’, a book edited by Professor (Dr) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice-Chancellor O. P. Jindal Global University (JGU), Delhi, NCR, India, was released by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 17th July 2017. President Pranab Mukherjee was presented with the first copy of the book which has been published by Oxford University Press India.

President Mukherjee said, “Our needs today are much more complex, along with the post-independence emphasis on nation-building through institution-building. The Universities of today are required to compete globally for research-ranking to help build World-Class Universities.”

“As our Universities of the Future gear up for global competition to find their place on the tables of institutional rankings, let us not forget the difference between ‘world-class’ and ‘world-minded,” he added.

Professor Amartya Sen, Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University spoke on the need for freedom and autonomy of higher educational institutions in India and said, “We need to think about why India does not rank among the top 200 universities in the world. The difference between Indian Universities and those in other countries is that they are autonomous and free from political policies and obstacles. The mindset in this country needs to change to bring excellence and freedom in the field of education”.

JGU Chancellor Naveen Jindal harped on JGU’s commitment for global higher education and said, “The universities of the future must become central pillars of growth and development of a nation that churns out intelligent minds for the 21st century. It is time for India to join ranks with world class universities and improve the academic environment for our students.”

Speaking about the book, Professor Kumar said, “At a time when the state of universities and their value to the larger society is being increasingly debated, universities are compelled to rethink their roles and the role of the higher education system. This book seeks to address contemporary issues that are central to the transformation and creation of the universities of the future, not only in India but in other parts of the world as well”.

The book is a compilation from scholars of law, liberal arts, international relations, science and technology studies. The contributors have argued for fundamental reforms to bring about a sense of purpose in Indian education system.

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