President Pranab Mukherjee rues no Indian university in world's top 200
KHARAGPUR: IIT, Kharagpur kicked off its Diamond Jubilee celebrations last year with work on a document to elevate the institution to a another level. Pranab Mukherjee was then present as the country's finance minister. A year later, when the institute brought the celebrations to a close at its 58th convocation ceremony on Saturday, Pranab released the document as the President of India.
If everything goes according to plan, the first IIT in the country will be on the list of the top-20 educational institutions in the world by 2032.
On Saturday, during its 58th Convocation Ceremony and closure of IIT, Kharagpur's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, a document was released to take the institution to another level altogether. If everything goes as per plans, the first IIT in the country will be in the list of the top-20 educational institutions in the world by 2032. Work on this document started in 2011 when IIT, Kharagpur's Diamond Jubilee celebrations began. Pranab Mukherjee was then present as the country's finance minister. On Saturday, he released the document as President.
While acknowledging the progress made by IIT, Kharagpur in introducing new courses, Mukherjee expressed his displeasure at the fact that not a single educational institute in India features on the list of the top-200 colleges of the world. "I feel it necessary to share with you my sense of dismay on seeing, in recent reports, that not a single Indian university or institute of higher learning, including the premier IITs, figure on the list of 200 top-rated universities of the world. Now you may question the survey, but to my mind the more important question is: Why? Why are we, a 'rising economic superpower', not able to promote our standards to be rated, indisputably, among the top 10 or even top 50 or 100? I welcome the pledge taken by IIT, Kharagpur, to be on the list of the top 20 institutions in the next 20 years," Mukherjee said.
Referring to the Rs 200-crore one time grant by the Centre for the institute's development of IIT, Kharagpur, in the Union Budget 2011-12, the President said that the Centre has approved the setting up of a 400-bed hospital within the IIT campus in Kharagpur. The hospital will be built on a 'Special Purpose Vehicle' model.
"It is a matter of satisfaction to see that the institute will soon start a Medical Education Programme and take resarch initiative in bio-medical and healthcare in the proposed Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy Institute of Medical Sciences and Research," the President said. Calling this the 'Decade of Innovation', Mukherjee called upon students to take advantage of the situation and work towards creating jobs.
Many parents and family members of students were disappointed at not being allowed into the Netaji Hall where the convocation was taking place. There wasn't enough room in the hall. Preparations were made for the families in an adjoining hall to watch the ceremony on TV screens but the quality of transmission was extremely poor.
"We had come to see our son receive his PhD at IIT. Had we known that we would have to watch it on TV here, we may as well have stayed back home," said Nirmal Das of Dum Dum.
An Afghanistan resident of Indian origin was also unhappy after he wasn't allowed into the hall while his daughter was being conferred an engineering degree.