Naidu stresses on quality education to address societal issues

New Delhi: Inaugurating the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of IIT-Delhi (IIT-D) on Monday through a video conference, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu urged the IITs and other premier higher education institutes to undertake research on societal problems.

He asked the higher education institutes to develop symbiotic relationship with industry and, in the same breath, requested the private sector to fund research projects.

Calling for collective action from all stakeholders to improve the quality of education, Naidu said there was huge potential for India to become the world leader in various technological domains.

The Vice-President emphasised that research at the IITs and other higher education institutes must be relevant to society and that it should focus on finding solutions to “various problems faced by mankind from climate change to health issue”.

He said Indian institutions will be counted among the world’s best only when they started impacting the societies around them by developing optimal and sustainable solutions to the problems faced by the nation.

Calling for greater investment in R&D projects which focus on finding solutions to societal problems, he urged the private sector to collaborate with the academia in identifying such projects and fund them liberally. He also emphasised that the research should focus on making the lives of people comfortable, quicken the progress and ensure a more equitable world order. Calling upon the IITians to pay attention to the problems faced by the farmers’ market in rural India, Naidu asked them to work not only for enhancing agri production but also give special attention to the production of nutritious and protein-rich food.

Asking the higher education institutions not to work in silos and form a symbiotic relationship with the industry to develop cutting-edge technology, he said the industry experts in various areas should act as mentors in guiding researchers. “This type of collaboration will help in fast-tracking projects and produce quicker results,” he added.

Expressing happiness that the New Education Policy seeks to promote India as a global study destination, Naidu pointed out that only eight Indian institutions currently figured in the top 500 globally.

He said this situation has to change and there has to be a “concerted and collective action” from all the stakeholders—governments, universities, educationists and the private sector to bring about a radical improvement in the standards and quality of education of our institutes of higher learning.

Observing that there was huge potential for India to become a world leader in various technological domains given the demographic advantage and the presence of highly talented youth, the Vice-President said: “The need of the hour is to impart quality education.”

Lauding IIT-Delhi for emerging as a leader in the entrepreneurship space, Naidu said: “It is good to note that Institutions such as IIT-D are producing job providers rather than job seekers and becoming trendsetters for other institutions in the country”.

On this occasion, he also released the Diamond Jubilee logo and IIT Delhi 2030 strategy document.

Minister for Education Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Prof V Ramgopal Rao, Director of IIT Delhi, and others were present on the occasion.