New Delhi: The Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that our higher education system continues to have limited research capacity. Low levels of funding and segregation of the country’s R&D institutions from universities and colleges have been responsible for the weak research capacity of Indian universities. It is disappointing that even the country’s top universities remain largely teaching-focused with limited research and doctoral education. Addressing at the ‘10th Convocation of the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi’ here today, he has said that this lack of research orientation, even in the best of the Indian institutions, is reflected in their standing in global rankings, most of which rely heavily on measurable indices of research performance. No Indian university figured amongst the top 200 universities in the Times Higher Education Rankings or the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
He opined that to face up to the increasing challenges in the new world order, our science & technology landscape needs to undergo a paradigm shift. A competitive knowledge economy must be built on the pillars of: (i) an educational system that produces human resources which are employable and globally benchmarked; (ii) S&T pursued on an enormous scale to generate knowledge for long-term use and (iii) strategic translational research inspired by national needs and global opportunities.
The Vice President said that in pursuance of these objectives, we will have to aim at quadrupling our R&D base, stimulate research where R&D productivity is relatively lower, provide challenges to institutions for global positioning including in intellectual property generation, establish new academies and institutions, build up large publicly funded and privately managed facilities to help researchers. Emphasis should also be given on strengthening linkages between universities, R&D institutions, science academies and industry.
He said that our investment in research and related activities since independence has lead to creation of substantial capacity and capabilities in science and technology, evident in our Nuclear and Space programmes and in the Information Technology, Bio-technology and Nano-technology sectors etc. High quality basic research in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, computer science and science education is being undertaken in universities, and in islands of excellence like the TIFR, Indian Institute of Science, Jawahar Lal Nehru Centre for Advance Scientific Research, and some others.
The Vice President said that Science, technology and innovation have emerged as major drivers of national development globally. As India aspires for faster, sustainable and inclusive growth, our research and development system will need to play a defining role in achieving these national goals.
He congratulated the graduating students and their families and said that their achievements are a source of joy and pride to them, the University and the nation. They owe their success to their own hard work and commitment but they should also remain thankful to their parents and teachers for invaluable contributions in this success. They should also not forget their debt to society and the country and remain mindful of the millions of fellow citizens who are deprived and marginalized and need compassion and help. I leave them with a few words from Tagore for inspiration “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy”.
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2014 The Global Indian New Network (TGINN)