The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu today stressed the need to reorient the education system and improve the quality of teaching and research in our institutions of Higher Education.Addressing the convocation of Vikrama Simhapuri University, in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh today, the Vice President expressed concern over the fact that none of our universities has figured among the top 100 Universities of the world in Times Rankings.Addressing the students, Shri Naidu said, “India was once known as Vishwaguru and knowledge-seekers from all over the world used to come and study at renowned learning centres like Nalanda and Takshashila. Our students must draw inspiration from our glorious past to create a magnificent future.”Highlighting that India has the advantage of Demographic dividend, the Vice President said that the development of knowledge and skills of youth should be the key strategy for accelerating economic growth of the nation. This trained and educated human capital will play an important role in achieving the goal of 5 trillion dollar economy in the coming years.In this regard, Shri Naidu emphasized the need to step up the investment in education from the current 4.6 percent of GDP to 6 percent of GDP, as recommended by the NITI Aayog.Stressing the need for our universities to emerge as the hotspots of research, incubation and innovation, Vice President called for building a strong research ecosystem through collaborative, inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research initiatives.Expressing concerns that India’s expenditure on R & D has almost stagnated, he said one reason for this was low investment by private sector in research and development.The Vice President urged the private sector to spend reasonable share on research and development and join hands with the Universities.
He also asked the corporate sector to create a separate corpus to promote cutting edge research in higher education institutions and universities.Maintaining that Universities too must maintain close interaction with the industry, the Vice President called for creating the right ecosystem for research to thrive. It should be remembered that ultimately every scientific outcome must benefit the society, he said.Shri Naidu further said asked the private universities to consider the education as a mission and as an investment in the future of the country and not merely treat it as a business opportunity. “Private universities need to focus on ensuring inclusiveness and deploy more resources to educate children belonging to the under-privileged sections of the society”, he added.Talking of the need to provide holistic education, the Vice President said it should turn students into the persons of sterling character, impeccable integrity and strong morals. They must be socially conscientious citizens with empathy and compassion for the less fortunate, he added.Shri Naidu also said that the education policy must focus on teaching India’s culture, heritage and the rich history with life stories of the great men and women who shaped this great nation.Maintaining that education is not just for employment rather it is for enlightenment and empowerment, the Vice President asked the students to be life-long learners. “The growth and development of this country depends upon how well-educated, hard working and enterprising the youth are. The strides of progress that you make in your individual careers will collectively determine the pace at which the nation progresses”, he told the students.The Vice President also asked the students to spare their time for societal obligations also. He appreciated Vikrama Simhapuri University’s concept of ‘College to Village’ in this regard.Expressing concerns over the global warming and climate change, Shri Naidu also called upon every university to involve students in campaigns for the protection of the environment.The Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Biswabhushan Harichandan and the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. R. Sudarsana Rao were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion.