President Ram Nath Kovind hosted the Directors of IITs, NITs and IIEST, Shibpur today at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The conference, which also saw participation from the Union HRD Minister Mr. Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', was a part of regular interaction between the President and such institutions in his capacity as visitor to 152 Central Universities and institutions of higher learning.
Other attendees at the Conference included Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Mr. Sanjay Dhotre, Secretary (Higher Education), Mr. R. Subrahmanyam, and Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, and Chairman of AICTE, Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe.
National and Global Rankings
President appreciated the efforts put in by the institutes toward improving their rankings at international level and said that other institutes could learn from their experience and incorporate measures to improve global rankings. '
"These ranking may seem to be mere numbers, but they are important as they indicate your progress on various critical parameters," he said.
Women In Science
"Science and technology become more humane when there are more women practitioners," said President Ram Nath Kovind.
The President congratulated the institutes for improving gender ratio but pointed out that the number of women faculty was still low and needed attention.
Apart from women faculty, the President also stressed on the need to have more faculty members with international experience.
The President applauded IIT Delhi's 'Billion Dollar Endowment Drive' and expressed his hope that other institutes would similarly engage their alumni.
He also said that it was important for the institutes to nurture next generation of leaders and train administrators. Referring to Leadership for Academicians or LEAP programme, he said that MHRD launched the second edition of the programme a few months ago.
On Air Quality
In his address to the institute directors, the President also talked about the pressing concern of Air Quality in several cities in the country. He said that the institutes' responsibilities included sensitizing students about the air quality issue and encourage research to find a solution to the air quality problem.
Talking about the need for fuel alternatives he said, "Hydrocarbon energy changed the face of the world in the last couple of centuries, but now it is threatening our very existence. The challenge is compounded for nations battling to bring substantial sections of populations out of poverty. Yet, we will have to find alternatives."
Ease of Living
The President said that after improving India's ranking on the Ease of Doing Business Index, the government now plans to improve the Ease of Living for all citizens. In this direction, he called upon the institutes present and their Directors to find ways to improving urban infrastructure, making water supply systems efficient, making healthcare delivery more effective through technological advancements.
He also insisted that the institutes and their startup incubator cells should provide startups with the right direction for them to become job creators.
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