Research, innovation crucial for sustained progress: President

New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee while presenting the Visitor’s Awards for 2016 under various categories said that education, research and innovation are the three crucial pillars for achieving higher growth and sustained progress.

“Countries that have created strong networks amongst higher educational institutions and with other key stakeholders like industry and research bodies have experienced rapid innovation, product development and industrialization,” Press Information Bureau quoted Mukherjee as saying at the conclusion of the three-day Festival of Innovation on Monday.

“In the process, it has led to generation of knowledge, wealth and welfare for the people,” he added.

To promote research and innovation in institutions of higher education, Mukherjee announced the institution of the Annual Visitor’s Awards in 2014.

The president presented Visitor’s Award for the “Best University” to Tezpur University, Assam; for “Research” to professor Rakesh Bhatnagar of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and for “Innovation” to the Molecular Parasitology Group of JNU.

Praising the JNU, the president said that the awards for both research and innovation going to the scientists of JNU is “an indication of the depth of innovation, research and collaboration in this prestigious university”.

He said that research is important “from the standpoint of knowledge creation as well as wider social applicability”.

“‘Greater good for greater number of people’ has to be the driving force behind research in our institutions,” he said.

Mukherjee expressed satisfaction that Indian institutions of higher learning started appearing in the top 200 global rankings of institutions.

“When I assumed this office, I found not a single Indian institution in the top 200 global rankings despite the potential that many institutions exhibited. It was the lack of focus and the absence of a methodological approach that denied this distinction to any of our institutions,” he said.

“My constant exhortation and persistence has now started bearing fruits.

In the ranking of small universities made by a reputed international agency, IIT Guwahati has been placed at the 12th position. This is a unique achievement and should inspire all our institutions,” Mukherjee said.

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