'Accessibility, affordability and quality' pillars of higher education, says President

Guwahati, May 13 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday our higher education system rests on the pillars of accessibility, affordability and quality.

President Mukherjee, who attended the closing ceremony of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Pandu College here, said there has been a phenomenal increase

in our higher education institutions.

"We now have over 650 degree awarding institutions and over 33,000 colleges in the country. Despite this, there is a gap of quantity as well as quality," he added.

President Mukherjee said the National Knowledge Commission had referred to the declining standards of higher education as a 'quiet crisis that runs deep'. We must aim at taking at least a few of our academic institutions into the global top league.

"There should be greater use of technology to fulfill the unmet demands of higher education. The National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology is an important initiative. It promotes collaborative information sharing by enabling the transmission of important lectures to students studying in institutes situated far off from urban areas," he added.

President Mukherjee further said functioning in many of educational institutions is hampered by lack of teachers. He said: "Many faculty positions are lying vacant in our colleges and universities. While filling up vacancies should be high on priority, we must introduce innovative technological solutions like e-classrooms to tide over this crisis."

"We must revitalize research and development in our country. Research is unfortunately not a preferred option, accounting for less than 0.4 per cent of our higher education student population. There is a need to promote a healthy environment for research," he added. (ANI)