President of India Addresses the 15th FICCI Higher Education Summit

New Delhi: The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, addressed the 15th FICCI Higher Education Summit in New Delhi today (November 27, 2019). This Summit is being organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the world of tomorrow will be driven by knowledge, machine-intelligence and digital pathways. To prepare ourselves for this transformation and to leverage its limitless opportunities, we have to recast our higher education with new courses and deeper research-orientation. Ideation, innovation and incubation should be given primacy in our curriculum. India has the third largest scientific human resource pool in the world. If we establish robust academia-industry linkages, we have the potential to become the R&D capital of the world. And along with science, liberal arts and humanities must get equal attention – for fruits of technology have to be ultimately made relevant to people, communities and cultures.

The President said that spirit of inquiry, critical thinking and an overall culture of looking at what, how and why of issues and perspectives needs to be nurtured. Creativity, imagination and thought in the minds of our students have to be unlocked and its exuberance allowed to flow and flower. To bring about this educational renaissance, we would require attitudinal adjustments and openness about new concepts on several fronts: at the level of academic leadership; at the level of student-teacher engagement; and at the level of technology integration.

The President said that the world of higher education is an expansive one. For it to grow and empower us, we need support from all stakeholders – policymakers, educationists, researchers, entrepreneurs and others. Given the socio-economic reality of our country, public institutions will play a lead role. But along with it, the private sector must continue to contribute to national efforts.