Investment in education earns highest return – Pranab Mukherjee
Mumbai / February 8, 2014
President Pranab Mukherjee has called for increased investment in higher education and laid the stress on making it affordable and accessible. Speaking at the Diamond Jubilee celebration of the Kishinchand Chellaram College of Mumbai, popularly known as K C College, Mr. Mukherjee quoted Banjamin Franklin and Otto Van Bismark to reiterate that investment in education earns the highest return. He said time has come for India to recover the lost ground and become a world leader in education once again.
“Almost 700 years ago, India dominated the scene of higher education not for one decade or two, but for 1500 years, from the days of Taxila in 3rd century BC till the collapse of Nalanda in the 12th century, India like a magnet attracted mighty minds from Greece, China, Persia and far off places.” But he lamented the fact that today, India’s institutes of higher learning are no longer counted among the best. “When the international rating agencies release the list of 200 top institutions, I do not find the name of a single Indian university. I feel sad” he added.
“It is not that there is a lack of talent among Indians. In the contemporary period, as many as four Indians who have graduated or post graduated from Punjab University (Hargobing Khurana), Madras University (ScChandrasekhar), Calcutta University (Amartya Sen) – have won Nobel prize, but unfortunately they were recognized when they were working outside India” Mr. Mukherjee observed. He said India must develop capacities to retain its best minds.
Stating that tremendous investment has taken place in building institutions of higher learning, Mr. Mukherjee said despite having over 650 universities and 33,000 colleges, the higher education enrolment ratio, at 7 per cent is far lower than other developed countries like USA 34 per cent and Germany 21 per cent.
President said our higher education infrastructure must expand – not only quantitatively but also qualitatively. He called upon the need to imbibe the spirit of gratitude among the student community towards the institution which imparted skills in him or her to face the world. “Commitment to alma-mater is very important. All the great institutions of the world, be it Harvard, Masschussetts, Oxford or Cambridge, have thrived through generous contributions from the alumni.”
President Mukherjee complimented the Hyderabad (Sind) National Collegiate Board and KC College in particular for laying emphasis on all round development of students and creating first class minds. “If we want to regain our rightful place in the world, we have to create first class universities” he proclaimed.
Supplementing President’s views on higher education, the guest of honour Amitabh Bachchan said, in a just world, opportunity of good education should not be confined to a privileged few, but be available to all. “Democracy should not only be great leveller, but be a great uplifter of one and all” he observed.
Governor of Maharashtra K Sankaranarayanan, Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan, Union Minister and South Mumbai MP Milind Deora, Maharashtra Minister for Higher Education, Rajesh Tope, Hyderbad Sind National Collegiate Board President Niranjan Hiranandani, KC College alumnus Anil Ambani, Kokilaben Ambani, Tina Ambani and other dignitaries were present. A KC book of memoirs, ‘Our Universe’ featuring articles and photographs chronicling KC’s milestones was released to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee
About KC College
KC college was established in 1954 under the aegis of Hyderabad (Sind) National Collegiate Board, after it relocated itself to Mumbai in the aftermath of partition. KC College is known for its consistently high academic record and an array of extra-curricular activities. It enjoys a NAAC Grade A accreditation.