President wants improved global rankings of Indian institutions

Ranchi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday emphasised the need to improve international rankings of Indian institutions of higher education.

“In the last three and half years, I have visited more than 100 institutions and there was no lack of merit on the part of our higher learning institutions. They, however, need to promote themselves better. Noble laureates like Hargobind Khurana and V. Ramakrishnan completed their studies in Indian universities,” Mukherjee said at Vinoba Bhave University in Hazaribagh.

He lauded the efforts of two Indian institutions that have broken into the top 200 for the first time, and said he was confident that many more would join these institutions soon.

The president — who is an a two-day visit to the state — said Vinoba Bhave University now had 24 post-graduate departments, 22 constituent colleges and 91 affiliated colleges that offer teaching and research programmes in humanities, science, commerce, management, computer application, engineering, law, education and medicine.

Having completed two and a half decades, Vinoba Bhave University is quickly proceeding towards realising its vision of becoming a modern 21st century institution and centre of excellence, he said.

Mukherjee said universities cannot work in isolation, and should contribute to betterment of society.

He said India was well known for education and research in the past.

There was a time when India played a leading role as a centre of higher education. Renowned seats of learning like Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramashila, Valabhi, Somapura and Odantapuri enabled India to lead the world for almost 1,800 years, he said.

On the occasion, former union finance and external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha, who earlier represented Hazaribagh in the Lok Sabha, was conferred with D.Litt (Honoris Causa) degree.