President bats for innovation

Mukherjee asserts importance of research at DU convocation
Last Updated 19 March 2013, 20:58 IST

At the 90th annual convocation of University of Delhi (DU) held on Tuesday, President of India Pranab Mukherjee, who was chief guest at the occasion, stressed on inclusive education and innovation by adopting schemes such as National Mission of Education through Information and Communication (NMEICT).

“We need to focus on innovation to relate to education needs of the country. Out of the 260 lakh students who were enrolled at the undergraduate level and above in 2011-12, only one lakh or 0.4 per cent had registered for PhD. Therefore, innovation has to be aggressively promoted by our institutes of higher learning, apart from research and development centres,” said Mukherjee.

“We must set up industry incubation parks, increase the number of research fellowships, promote inter-disciplinary research through inter-university and intra- university collaboration, and adequately empower our centres of excellence,” he adds.

The President regretted the lack of attention given to research and innovation in the country.

“There is talent deficiency due to inadequate incentive system and outflow of intellectual capital. The number of patent applications filed in India in 2011 was around 42,000. This is far below the 5 lakh plus applications that China and the US each filed in 2011,” said Mukherjee.

“With 17 per cent of the world population, India’s share in the number of patent applications filed worldwide is only about 2 per cent. The University takes responsibility to mentor innovators, promote inter disciplinary platforms, give impetus to collaborations at all levels and take the lead as the fountain head of knowledge,” he added, while commending the Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC) of DU.

Mukherjee further pointed at new policies to stop outflow of intellectual capital.
“By an adequate system of incentivisation, we should be able to discourage this outflow of intellectual capital and at the same time encourage scholars of Indian origin working abroad to return to the country for determined periods of time,” he said.

Talking about the new curriculum to be implemented in the coming session in DU, he added, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. I am delighted to learn about the initiative of the DU to use the challenges faced by our country as a core theme in creating new syllabi.”

The Vice Chancellor (VC) Dinesh Singh, in his address, spoke about the need to change the curriculum. “We will strive to meet the needs and challenges of the Indian society in tune and harmony with the new aspirations of the society and country at large. We will try to revive DU to bring back the lost glory of Nalanda and Takshila University by moving towards innovation,” said Singh.

This year, 389 PhDs were conferred, a drop in the number in comparison to last year when 414 students were given PhD degrees. Medals and prizes were given by Mukherjee to the students.

Manisha, a postgraduate in mathematics from Hindu College bagged five gold medals.
A total of 52 medals were awarded to postgraduates  while 22 were given to undergraduates. Hindu college bagged 12 gold medals in total.

(Published 19 March 2013, 20:58 IST)

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