New Delhi, Apr 8 : President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said even as the recent expansion of higher education in the country had widened access and improved equity, quality was a concern.
``While there are islands of excellence, both in the public and private sectors, overall standards are uneven,’’ he said.
The President was speaking here after releasing the India Rankings, 2019 of educational institutions.
Earlier he had presented the India Rankings awards to top eight institutions in different categories at a function.
``As our higher education infrastructure continues to grow, enrolment rises, it is important to lift the bar. A nuanced approach is essential to ensure that higher education not only fulfils individual aspirations, but also achieves national goals and priorities,’’ he pointed out.
Mr Kovind said India cannot realise its potential without requisite education infrastructure measured, both, by numbers and standards.
``We live in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, amid a knowledge society and an innovation economy. It is critical that there be a significant Indian presence in global rankings of leading universities and higher educational institutions in the very near future,’’ he said.
On the occasion, he also released the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) and presented the ARIIA awards to the top two institutions.
He said the keen sense with which institutions participate in the India Rankings mechanism should persist and be escalated to striving for and achieving rankings among the global best.
The President noted that besides overall rankings, category-specific rankings had been observed for colleges and universities, as well as subject-specific rankings for engineering, management, pharmacy, architecture, law and medicine.
``A ranking system of such a nature fosters a spirit of healthy competition between institutions. This is vital because all institutions are today competing for talent – teaching talent, research talent, the most talented students, and even the most enlightened administrators,’’ he said.
``If an institution wants to attract the best, it too has to be among the best. It has to provide an encouraging atmosphere and suitable campus culture for students and members of the academic community,’’ he added.