Mumbai University Confers Honorary D.Litt. On Dr. MS Swaminathan
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee today conferred Honorary D.Litt. on Dr. MS Swaminathan at a special convocation ceremony at University of Mumbai. The President identified it as a rare opportunity for him to confer the Honorary D. Litt. of University of Mumbai upon Dr. M.S. Swaminathan. He said that the University which has Mahatma Gandhi in its list of illustrious alumni has always recognized leaders who have played significant roles in transforming various fields. Some of the eminent scholars and social reformers who have been conferred with honorary D.Litt. by the University in past include Sir R.G. Bhandarkar, Dadabhai Naoroji, Sir C.V. Raman, and Sir M.Visvesvaraya.
Speaking about the contribution of Dr. Swaminathan, the President said that it is due to his contribution that our country has emerged as one of the leading producers and exporters of food grains in the world.
In the past 65 years, Dr. Swaminathan has worked with different scientists and policy-makers on a wide range of problems in basic and applied plant genetics and agricultural research and development. He has advocated sustainable agriculture which has led to an ever-green revolution fixing his place as world leader in the field of sustainable food security. Importance of Dialogue within Higher Educational Institutes
Talking about higher education, the President said that this sector plays a crucial role in the national developmental effort and influences different growth centers of the economy. He said that the quality of training provided to students employed by the economy plays an important part in determining the competence of an economy. Employment of quality manpower is the first point of contact an economy has with the higher education system of a country.
He also said that the curriculum in universities must be aligned with the needs of the industry. He advised in favor of having corporate experts as academic managers on industrial requirements in the course curriculum.
The President predicted the 21st century to be an 'Asian century' with the Asian countries regaining their pre-eminence in the world through all-round development and education and new knowledge is going to be the torch bearer in this journey.
Reflecting on the rich history of ancient India, he said that India has a past of philosophical debate and discussion. India was not just a geographical location but was the name for an idea and a culture. Discourse is a part of our culture and cannot be done away with.
Universities and institutes of higher education are the best forum for exchange of ideas. He emphasized on the importance of dialogue and said that we should embrace free conversation and even arguments leaving behind narrow mindsets.
He said that modern universities should learn from the past and encourage exchange of ideas and discourage intolerance and hatred within the space of our educational institutions.
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