Honourable President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, and Founding Chancellor, JGU, Mr. Naveen Jindal, at the inauguration of the international conference on “Universities of the Future: Knowledge, Innovation and Responsibility” organised by the International Institute for Higher Education Research & Capacity Building (IIHEd) on 18-20 March 2017 at the JGU campus. The other Guests of Honour were Governor of Haryana, Professor Kaptan Singh Solanki; Minister of Education, Government of Haryana, Mr. Rambilas Sharma; Minister of Women & Child Development, Government of Haryana, Ms. Kavita Jain; and Member of Parliament, Sonipat, Mr. Ramesh Chander Kaushik.
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the three-day international conference on ‘Universities of the Future: Knowledge, Innovation and Responsibility’ organised by the International Institute for Higher Education Research & Capacity Building (IIHEd) of JGU on March 18 and 19, 2017. The three-day conference held at the JGU campus sought to examine the future of Indian universities in the 21st century.
In his inaugural address, President Mukherjee said the requirement of today’s educational system is to focus on innovation and research, and India’s education system will have to take on the challenge of tapping its ‘demographic dividend’. “We will also have to provide a competent, skilled workforce. Interface between education and industry should be established. Another important necessity of modern universities is to have a chain of inspired teachers who can ignite the minds of students and encourage them to think out of the box,” the President said.
The President complimented JGU for emphasising research, development and innovation as its basic objective from the very beginning. He said that in his capacity as a visitor to central institutions of higher learning, he has repeatedly stressed on the need to improve the standards of higher education. “Young boys and girls should be encouraged to have problem-solving minds to enable them to solve problems through their ingenuity. Since 2014, the Festival of Innovations [FOIN] is being held in Rashtrapati Bhavan. I have seen in FOIN how a large number of persons from obscure places and remote villages have tried to solve the problems of society through innovation. However, at the same time, it was also essential to establish linkages between innovation and the market,” he added.
President Mukherjee emphasised that future universities must establish strong linkages with various stakeholders in society. “Unless we have strong foundations of basic research, our futuristic university plans will be seriously jeopardised,” he added. He called on universities and institutions of the country for creating a higher education roadmap that focusses on critical elements of research, knowledge creation, institutional excellence and global benchmarking. He said these were fundamental ingredients for setting up world-class universities in the country.