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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 11.06.2015

Thirty-one Inspired Teachers from Central Universities across the countryparticipating in an ‘In-Residence’ programme of Rashtrapati Bhavancalled on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee yesterday (June 10, 2015) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said thatan Inspired Teacher is a value-oriented, mission-driven, self-motivated and result-oriented individual who works towards impacting the environment in a positive manner through his own actions as well as by imparting knowledge amongst students to help them achieve their potential. An Inspired Teacher links the individual goals of the students to the societal and national goals.He stated that with that purpose he found strong support fromthe Greek writer and philosopher, Nikos Kazant-zakis who had said "True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own”.

The President said that there was a need to give dignity and recognition to quality teachers.It was essential that such Inspired Teachers be recognized so that theyhave motivation and drive.The one week ‘In Residence’ programme at Rashtrapati Bhavan was part of that endeavour. Inclusion ofmembers of the academic fraternity as accompanying delegates to foreign countries has also had a beneficial impact.

The President said thatthe big challenge we face in India today is the quality of teaching and learning in our higher academic institutions. Without upgrading the skill and knowledge quotient of a vast majority of the teachers, it would not be possible to improve standards of education in our country.India today needs many more competent teachers willing to dedicate themselves to improving the quality of education.

The President said that despite the proliferation of institutions for higher education seen in recent years, it is the quality of education imparted that poses serious concern. If we look into our past, we were leaders of higher education and could find seats of higher learning such as Nalanda, Takshashila, Vikramashila, Valabhi, Somapura and Odantapuri which dominated the world for a long period of time. However today, we lose meritorious Indian students who go abroad to pursue higher studies. Nobel laureates such as Har Gobind Khorana, Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar and Dr. Amartya Sen did their graduate or post-graduate studies in Indian universities but went abroad for higher learning. We are capable of producing world-class scholars but lose them to foreign universities. He emphasized that a change in this position is possible through our collective efforts.

The Inspired Teachers were unanimous in saying that for them it was a lifetime opportunity to be participants of the week long ‘In Residence’ Programme at Rashtrapati Bhavan. They also said that this had been an empowering, engaging and motivating experience for them and made them feel more responsible to excel in their role as teachers.

The In-Residence programme forInspired Teacherswas announced by the President of Indiaat the Annual Conference of Vice Chancellors of Central Universities on February 5, 2015. Similar programmes already exist forwriters, artists, grass root innovators and NIT students.

This release issued at 1240hrs.