The President’s Secretariat had proposed to organize a Visitor’s conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan from November 4 to 6. The conference will bring together the heads of all prestigious institutions on one single platform to discuss about the challenges threatening higher education in India today. The President of India plays the role as ‘Visitor’ of 114 institutions of higher learning in the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, union ministers and other prominent people are expected to attend the event.
Three Years of President Pranab Mukherjee’s Presidency can be marked as the years full of achievements so far and an expansion of various initiatives launched in the first two years. During his tenure many important projects were completed and many new activities have been kick started. The biggest highlight of this year was the visit to India by U.S. President Barack Obama as the Chief Guest for Republic Day parade.
In the present which is the third year of his President-ship, Pranab Mukherjee visited 11 educational institutions, bringing the total number of institutions of higher learning visited in three years to 100. This is the first ever conference of Chairmen and Directors of IITs, second conference of Directors of NITs and third conference of Vice-Chancellors of Central Universities.
As per the official statement issued, “This is the first time such a conference, bringing together at one forum all heads of higher education institutions, is being convened by President Mukherjee.”
Earlier too, separate conferences were conducted for vice chancellors of central universities, directors of National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
The main reason behind the Visitor’s Conference is to discuss about how the quality of higher education in institutions can be improved to bring them at par with the top institutions of World. Other points in the queue that ought to be discussed are : capacity development of faculty, engagement of institutes of higher learning with community and society for sustainable and inclusive development and promotion of gender equity and cultural inclusion through higher education.
President had received the first copy of the book ‘The President of India and the Governance of Higher Education Institutions’. While addressing the gathering in the function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mukherjee said, “It is not that our country lacks the requisite talent or merit. Concerted efforts over the past few years have shown some good results and recently, two Indian institutions found a place among the top 200 universities as per an international ranking.”
President of India also congratulated authors and O.P. Jindal Global University as well as International Institute for Higher Education Research and Capacity Building for coming up with the books that provides an overview of higher education in India.