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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 25.12.2012

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee said despite achievements, it is widely recognized that our country's education system is burdened with demands of both quantity and quality. India must raise the standards of its higher education to a level that our educational institutions reach undisputedly among the top ten or at least top fifty in the world. In a globalised world, Indian institutions should aim at establishing themselves as world class universities.

He was speaking at the ninth convocation of Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT), Allahabad today (December 25, 2012).

The President said participation of women in higher education is, in general, lower than men, and in engineering, the situation is even more acute. He expressed the hope that engineering as a discipline will attract more girl students.

The President expressed his deep distress over the recent incident of brutal violence against a young girl in Delhi. He said criminal attacks against women often happen in backdrop of negative perceptions about women harboured and propagated by certain elements in society. This must change. We must inculcate in every member of our society the highest of respect for women and the youth of the country, particularly students of prestigious institutions like MNNIT must take the lead in this regard.

The President also expressed condolences over the sad demise of a Delhi Police constable who was injured in clashes with protesters and requested the youth that they control their emotions. He said that reason should not be thrown to the winds and violence is not the solution.

This release issued at 1350 hrs