Universities should become hubs for innovation: VP

New Delhi, Nov 18 (UNI) Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday stressed the need to re-imagine and reconstruct the higher education system in tune with the requirements of 21st century. 

While launching Krea University here, Mr Naidu highlighted that institutes of eminence must aim to ensure all round development of an individual apart from imparting quality education.
The Vice-President said,” Institutions like the Krea University with sights set firmly on the achievement of brilliance and distinction at the global platform must serve us in good stead in our quest for fast track progress and all round development.” 

He called for an impactful coordination of Public-Private Sector in providing such education system. Government should play the role of a strong facilitator and others supplement government’s efforts, he said.
Mr Naidu said not having enough high quality researchers, and the declining number of students doing PhDs and entering research posts was a concern. A country as populous as India and facing innumerable challenges from poverty to environmental degradation simply cannot do without innovation. 

”Saying that universities should become hubs for innovation, the Vice-President said that they must not become breeding grounds for resentment, frustration or discrimination. A university should be a place of enlightenment, a sanctuary of positive thoughts and safe haven of wisdom and knowledge,” he added.

Expressing concern that the higher education system in India still lags behind the standards of the world’s best universities, Mr Naidu said in 2018 too, no Indian university was able to secure a place in the top 100 best universities in the QS World University Ranking. American and European universities still rule the list, he said.
The Vice-President said Indian universities face a number of problems starting from shortage of funds to inadequate number of teachers to falling enrollment numbers. The profusion more rewarding career choices, lack of adequate facilities for post graduate education and the retirement of the current generation of professors and teachers has created a staff crunch in our centers of higher education, he added. 

Mr Naidu said the demand for skilled manpower in India predicted to be 700 million by 2022 and India must equip the young and students with employable skills. Such steps would not only allow us to realize the demographic dividend but also help India become the ‘skill capital’ of the world, he added.
”I am extremely happy to be here today with all of you at the Krea University launch ceremony. It is heartening to know that at the core of this university’s philosophy lies a pioneering paradigm of Interwoven Learning, weaving together thought with action, technology with humanities, arts with sciences, and ultimately, learnings of the past with preparedness for the future. 

”As I have said on numerous occasions before, India is at a juncture in its history when it simply cannot afford to be mediocre. Excellence should be our goal, our Mantra. We owe it to the billion dreams that propel our country forward to strive and reach the zenith of human potential.
Institutions like the Krea University with sights set firmly on the achievement of brilliance and distinction at the global platform will doubtlessly serve us in good stead in our quest for fast track progress and all round development.

”We stand at an inflexion point in human history. We are witnessing technological advancements unfold at a breakneck pace. Machine intelligence is getting better by the day. Genetic engineering now allows us to experiment with the basic building blocks of our biology. At the same time, rapid economic development has taken a toll on our environment. Our cities struggle to provide basic amenities such as clean air and potable water to residents,” he said.
Amidst such flux, institutions like Krea University must emerge as fountainheads of innovation, laying the pathway to a secure and prosperous future for humanity.

India is uniquely poised to be at the epicenter of these developments,” he said, adding, ”We are endowed with a demographic dividend unmatched by any other country in the world today, 65 per cent of our population is below 35 years of age. If we are to tap the full potential of our young and continually expanding labor force, we must fundamentally re-imagine our approach to higher education.”

The regulatory environment in India today is conducive to the establishment of great universities. Universities enjoy greater autonomy based on their accreditation score or performance in international rankings. These universities are given the freedom to start new academic programmes, courses, off-campus centers and research parks. The universities may hire the best faculty and admit students from anywhere in the world, and enter into international agreements and partnerships.