Prime News, Nation, (Aligarh), October 17:-Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday lamented that Indian universities lagged far behind top educational institutes in the world and stressed the need for research and innovation.
At a function here to mark the 200th birth anniversary celebrations of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Mukherjee said Indian varsities needed to focus more on research.
“We have failed to give due importance to basic research and innovation in our institutions of higher learning,” Mukherjee said.
He said the vision of India was based on a scientific outlook that generated from an “open mind”.
Mukherjee added that AMU highlighted Indian nationalism and ethos. Students from different religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds studied and worked in the university, the former president said.
“It is a privilege to be at AMU on the occasion of the 200th birth anniversary of the visionary leader of India, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan,” said Mukherjee.
He also released a coffee table book, Jahan-e-Syed, with a timeline on Sir Syed’s life, work and mission.
The former Finance Minister Mukherjee said Sir Syed began his mission by promoting western-style scientific education by founding modern schools and journals. “Sir Syed established a school at Moradabad, Victoria School at Ghazipur in 1863 and a scientific society for Muslims in 1864,” he added.
He said Sir Syed’s journey to accomplish his mission took him to founding the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College in 1875, which eventually became the AMU.
“In today’s world, we need to take Sir Syed’s mission forward by concentrating on innovation, research, building a knowledge-based society and taking the reputation of the country to new heights,” pointed out Mukherjee.
Hundreds of old students of AMU who attended the bicentenary celebrations pledged to make AMU a leading world class institution.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)