President Pranab Mukherjee, on Friday, suggested that funds for research and development in institutes of higher learning could come from corporates.
Emphasising on the need to improve the quality of education, he said one should focus on factors revolving around faculty, building robust research and innovation ecosystem, improve institute rankings processes, and developing linkages with industry, foreign universities and alumni.
"Higher educational institutions are the torch bearers of progress. Building institutions is not merely a brick and mortar activity. It represents vision of the future which we all want for our nation and the generations to come.
Irrespective of race, gender, faith or socio-economic background, institutions of higher learning are a place where merit triumphs over individual identities, in pursuit of excellence," said the President, who is a Visitor to central universities.
Addressing concluding session of three-day Visitor's conference, he said there is a need for adequate financial resources for development of institutions of higher learning.
"While the government will have to find a major part of the funds required, we should also look at other funding mechanisms like alumni and corporate sector support particularly in the area of research and development," Mukherjee said.
The support can come in the form of endowments, sponsored research, and creation of joint and shared research facilities, he said."With over 1,800 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with domestic and foreign institutions, and over 530 MoUs with industry, our central institutions are on the right path. Our central institutions of higher learning are getting truly internationalised. But the key to success lies in the implementation of the MoUs.
"The content of the MOUs that you pursue should be rich and cover multiple dimensions of industry- academia collaboration," the President said, referring to inter-linkage with industry.
Mukherjee said the Visitor's conference provides a platform where central institutions in diverse fields like agriculture, pharmaceuticals and humanities join institutions of technology, engineering, science and information technology in deliberations.