NEW DELHI || The Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday hosted a conference of 46 Heads of Central Universities/Institutes of Higher Learning in the fields of agriculture; pharmaceuticals; aviation; design; footwear-design; fashion; petroleum and energy; maritime studies; planning and architecture and information technology.
During the Conference, different subgroups comprises of heads of various institutes made presentations on issues such as promotion of research; promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship among students; building industry-academia linkages; filling up of vacancies including faculty from foreign universities; creating alumni funding and enhancing alumni activities; completion of major infrastructure projects in a time-bound manner.
Speaking at the concluding session, the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, said that India has set itself for sustainable development as it strives to eliminate poverty and become a middle-income country. Each of these institutes will be instrumental to the realisation of our socio-economic goals. He said that the Central Agricultural Universities can support our national goal of promoting sustainable agriculture, productivity and supporting our farmers with useful research.
The same is true of all other institutes linked to different areas be it pharmaceutical, aviation, oceanography, petroleum and energy, IT, Design, Architecture and others. Each of them is doing well but we need to raise the bar further. As our economy grows we need to acquire the scale and efficiency that is greater and better than the best in the world. These institutes have the mandate to lead research, to provide skilled talent, to spur innovation and to set an agenda for sustainable and climate-friendly development.
The President said that while developing their specialisations, these institutes should collaborate and learn from each other. This is possible for institutes in the same field. It is also possible across categories. For example, advances in Information Technology can aid Architects and town planners to design Smart Cities that minimise the use of energy. All of them should set up systems that can scout for and support cross-category collaborations which might hold creative promises to solve many of our problems.
The President said that great institutes of learning are different due to the leadership they nurture and build. The heads of leading higher education institutes must discharge their key role as leadership mentors for the next generation of academic-administrators. This would ensure that we have a ready talent pool of directors, deans and administrators who can conceive, establish and administer our institutes of higher education.
Union Ministers for Chemicals and Fertilizers; Human Resource Development; Commerce and Industry; Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare also addressed the Conference.