India used to be known for higher education: Former President Pranab Mukherjee


PranabNew Delhi: India attracted talent from all over the world for 1800 years from 600 B.C. to 1200 A.D., said former president of India Pranab Mukherjee. The president was speaking at the Indian ManagementConclave here in Delhi.

The outflow of students from India to abroad must change, and India must attract “traffic” inwards, like it did when it had institutions like Takshashila and Nalanda, said the president. He rued the fact that India has not had any Nobel Laureate for basic research in the last 70 years. “It’s not a question of lack of talent, but a lack of environment, or ambience,” said the president.

Good teachers don’t just teach topics, but also foster research, he said. The president took the example of mathematician Vashishtha Narayan Singh, a mathematician who obtained a PhD from University of Berkeley despite being poor, due to the encouragement of his teachers.

Mukherjee said that the country’s premier institutions IITs needed to do more than place their students in MNCs where they would “sell detergents”, and also needed to encourage students to go into research and education. He himself learned something new everyday, “be it Google search to tweeting”.

The president also gave away awards for excellence in management education at the conclave. This was the tenth edition of the annual conclave.


Written by Loknath Das