“Only 0.6 per cent of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is spent on research as compared to 2.8 per cent of China’s 10.38 trillion economy, three per cent in Japan and five per cent in the US,” Mukherjee said on Wednesday after receiving the first copy of the book titled ‘The Education President’ which was released by Vice President M. Hamid Ansari.
“If we have to create a knowledge society, we must invest more in research and development,” Mukherjee said.
The book, published by the Institute for Higher Education Research and Capacity Building at the O.P. Jindal Global University, talks about the important steps President Pranab Mukherjee took in the field of higher education.
Speaking on the occasion, Mukherjee also expressed concerns about the quality of education being imparted in the country.
He said India has a large higher education network comprising 757 universities and over 38,000 colleges.
“However, issues relating to quality and excellence are one of the biggest challenges, yet to be addressed comprehensively. Today, in the absence of adequate number of good quality educational institutions, around two lakh students go overseas to study,” the president said.
“Similarly, while our teachers and students are both very talented, no Indian since C.V. Raman in 1930 has won the Nobel Prize from an Indian university,” he said.
He also called for “cross fertilisation of ideas and academic freedom”.
He said: “Advanced societies recognise and honour scholars and teachers. There should be cross fertilisation of ideas and academic freedom. It is with this purpose that I took a delegations of Vice-Chancellors and other heads of educations institutions on state visits abroad.”