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President stresses HRD Ministry should implement Project Vishwajeet for seven IITs on a priority basis

By   /  November 17, 2016  /  Comments Off on President stresses HRD Ministry should implement Project Vishwajeet for seven IITs on a priority basis

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New Delhi: The seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) – Kharagpur, Kanpur, Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Guwahati and Roorkee- have already submitted Project Vishwajeet proposals before the Ministry of HRD. The President of India Mr Pranab Mukherjee stressed the proposals made by the seven IITs  should be expeditiously examined by the HRD Ministry for quick implementation. While delivering his speech at the second Visitor’s Conference inaugurated yesterday (16 November 2016) at Ratsrapati Bhavan, Mr Mukherjee said “ the resource requirement of Rs. 22,000 crore spread over 5 years projected by the seven IITs for Project Vishwajeet does not appear to be a big amount. These resources have to be found through innovative funding mechanism.”

The President commented  “In the conference of chairmen, board of governors, and directors of IITs held in August 2014, I had suggested that we must identify 7 to 10 institutions, which with some support can find a place in the top 100 rankings of international agencies. I am happy to find this recommendation getting traction now with HRD Ministry’s Project Vishwajeet. Mr Mukherjee  appreciated the proposed policy of MHRD to establish ten world class institutions each in public and private sector by saying it is also a very welcome step. Through an enabling regulatory environment, these institutions can achieve global standing in teaching and research, added he.

The Visitor’s Conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan provides a platform to the central institutions of higher learning for in-depth discussions on crucial matters concerning higher education. The three day conference will see unique insights of academic leaders and experts on issues like faculty augmentation and development; global standing of our institutions; research and innovation; alumni involvement in the management of institutions; collaboration with foreign universities and industry; effective utilization of technology including knowledge networks, and alignment of institutional goals with societal requirements.

The president opined that the road to becoming world-class institutions is through the trinity of talent, resources and management. “Our institutions must brim with meritorious students and top-notch faculty. Higher education is becoming increasingly expensive. To attract bright students with limited means, a support base comprising options like deferred and variable fees and income-contingent loans will be necessary.”

Commenting on foreign collaborations and enrolment of foreign students,  he said the higher education institutions must become magnets for talent—not only internal but also from outside. By sourcing students and faculty from abroad, they can deliver education in a global setting, enriching their scholars with international and inter-cultural skills. “From ‘brain drain’, we must shift to abundance of ‘brain rain’, as many successful Indian professionals working abroad are keen to come back, excited by the opportunities unfolding in a changing India”, added the President.

Last year, 43 MOUs were exchanged during the industry-academia session of the Visitor’s Conference. In the President Mr Pranab Mukherjee’s visits abroad, higher education institutions have signed 92 MOUs with their foreign counterpart institutions.

Highlighting the looming problems in the job markets, Mr Mukherjee expressed concern over job-less growth scenario in the country. “With the largest population of the young, we are poised to leverage a low dependency ratio. If there are enough jobs in the country, there will be content, refinement and perfection. An opposite scenario can spell disaster.  In 2015, India has created only limited number of jobs, which is the lowest in seven years, which is not encouraging.”

The second Visitor’s Conference, a conference of Vice Chancellors/Directors/Director Generals of Institutions of higher learning for which the President is Visitor, is being held from November 16 to 18, 2016 at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.

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