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Universities should produce argumentative Indians

18 July 2017
The Hindu

Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen released a book titled Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday.

President Pranab Mukherjee, who received the first copy of the book, said, “Universities should produce argumentative and pragmatic Indians rather than intolerant and dogmatic citizens.”

Speaking on the occasion, the President asked those present to think about the future of Indian universities as a continuation of India’s rich history and heritage of education.

‘Universities of future’

Mr. Mukherjee said, “We would do well to take from reforms by great philosophers and visionaries, such as [Rabindranath] Tagore, who sought to revive the ancient Buddhist tradition of higher learning and research in a common pursuit of truth for all mankind.”

The President added that our “universities of the future” must gear up for global competition to find their place on the tables of institutional rankings and they must not forget the difference between “world-class” and “world-minded”.

The President said the “universities of the future” need to re-invent our rich past heritage of “Kautuhalshala” (an assembly of inquisitive minds raising questions), hitherto silenced by the pedagogy of rote-memorising for test.

Mr. Mukherjee stressed on the importance of research by saying “let our students raise important research questions and break new grounds in scientific discoveries, artistic creativity and philosophical ruminations.”

The book has been complied by Professor C. Raj Kumar, the Vice-Chancellor of Jindal Global University and is published by Oxford University Press.