Published On: Thu, May 12th, 2016

We cannot compete with empty words or slogans: Prez

Varanasi: President Pranab Mukherjee today stressed that the government should invest more on research saying we “cannot compete with empty words or slogans” as more fundamental work is needed to improve performance.

Prez Pranab Mukherjee today addressing at the Centenary Year Celebrations of the BHU.

Prez Pranab Mukherjee today addressing at the Centenary Year Celebrations of the BHU.

Addressing centenary year celebrations of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) here, he urged the government to balance between various competitive demands and resources to meet investment needs in education sector.

“I am urging my government that please make more investment in research. We cannot compete with empty words or slogans we must substantially improve our performance for that we require more research more fundamental work in science.”

He said merely 0.6 per cent of GDP investment in research is not adequate compared to three per cent in Japan, 2.8 per cent in the US and 2.2 per cent in China.

He suggested both public and sector private sector should make this an area of top national priority by substantially investing in research development and innovation.

He said merely physical expansion of education sector was not enough and there was a need to concentrate on quality education by developing scientific temperaments in students.

Citing importance of core civilisational values, he emphasised on harmony, compassion and love for all.

He said words like “Babylon” (one of the ancient cities, now in Iraq) and Japan’s “Hiroshima” (which was devastated by nuclear bombs) ignite minds of people.

“They symbolise more than a geographical expression, more than a place or something, which talk of human values. Some events which had the turning point in the history of human civilisation.

“That is why I was thinking what could have been the better place than Kashi (another name of Varanasi), on the holy banks of Ganges, in the land of Lord Shiva to preach harmony, equilibrium, compassion, love, affection and universal humanism,” he said.

Mukherjee expressed happiness in knowing that BHU in its curriculum is emphasising on these aspects.

He said if India wants to have the rightful place in the comity of the nations then “we shall have to pay the price”.

“There are no free lunches in the world. World is highly competitive and materialistic too. And what could be that price. We must emphasise on innovation, on research, on building up scientific temperament,” he said.

Mukherjee said India will have world’s huge work force by 2030.

“More than 50 per cent of our population will be in the age group of zero to 25. But what should we do with this. This is a double-edged sword. It can be an asset it can be a liability. It would be asset if we provide them with adequate education, training in skilling them, enhance their employability,” the President said.

Citing example of ancient seats of higher learning like Takshashila and Nalanda that attracted great minds from across the world for 1,800 long years, the President asked the universities, faculty and students to regain that position.

Mukherjee, who was scheduled to be in Varanasi for two days, cut short his visit and returned Delhi late in night.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik released commemorative coins of Rs 100 and Rs 10 denominations during the programme.

Karan Singh, who is Chancellor of the University, was also present during the function.

PTI

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