New Delhi: The President of India Pranab Mukherjee released the India Rankings 2017 report today (April 10, 2017) at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He also presented awards to top-ranked institutions i.e. top 10 in overall category and toppers in the stream-wise categories -Engineering, Management, Universities, Colleges and Pharmacy.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that in his capacity as Visitor to institutions of higher learning, he has been repeatedly emphasizing on their actively participating in the international rating system and focusing attention on the rankings process. He was happy that during the last two years, two Indian institutions have figured in the top 200 in international rankings. He said that he believed that our institutions have all the qualities necessary for being ranked high. He said that the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) started by the Ministry of HRD and now in its second year is a laudable initiative and will help our institutions to realize their potential and emerge as world class institutions.
The President said that the higher education sector in India has seen massive expansion during the last two decades. The number of Universities, Degree Colleges, IITs, NITs, etc has increased but certain issues remain to be addressed. The first issue was regarding the lack of availability of quality teachers. The second was the problem of retaining our talents in our country. Bright students every year go abroad as they consider that the facilities, environment and opportunities abroad are superior. In ancient times, the situation was reverse when our Universities attracted the brightest students as well as teachers from all over the world.
The President said that we must take full advantage of the technological developments which have taken place. Through the use of technology, students in India can have access to top class teachers in Universities abroad. Constant interaction of teachers and students with their counterparts in other parts of the world can be useful. Use of technology does pose challenges too but they have to be addressed and we have to move forward. Our students and teachers have to be competitive. He said that we must have inspired teachers whose services need to be utilized. He stated that if India is to occupy its rightful place in the comity of nations it was important to build a knowledge economy. The constant cultivation of knowledge, sharing of views and exchange of ideas will contribute to enriching both students and teachers. He said that another imperative to quality education is the rapidly emerging youthful character of our population. We are a nation having a significant young population: about 600 million in the age group of 25 years and below. In order to ensure that this demographic dividend does not turn into a demographic liability, we need to equip our youth with necessary skills to enhance their employability.
The President congratulated all the awardees and institutions of repute and hoped that this feather in their cap would inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Shri Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Human Resource Development; Dr. MahendraNath Pandey, Minister of State for Human Resource Development; Smt. Omita Paul, Secretary to the President and Shri Kewal Kumar Sharma, Secretary (Higher Education), Ministry of Human Resource Development.