"Educational institutions have a pivotal role to inculcate in our youth the core civilizational values of love for motherland, performance of duty, compassion for all, tolerance for pluralism, respect for women, honesty in life, self-restraint in conduct, responsibility in action and discipline," the President said at the 12th convocation ceremony of Rajiv GandhiUniversity here.
Asserting that education is the bedrock of an enlightened society, he said a good education breeds tolerance for divergent views.
"Our country has done well in terms of economic development. Yet, we cannot claim to have evolved into a truly developed society," he said.
"Development is not only about factories, dams and roads. Development, to my mind, is about people, their values and their devotion to spiritual and cultural heritage of our nation."
"At a time when we, as a nation, have to make an extra effort to surmount the contemporary moral challenges, it is holistic education that must play a definitive role in shaping our values," Mukherjee said.
The President, who was on a two-day visit to the north eastern state, expressed concerns over the declining standard of country's higher education and suggested its overhaul.
"Today, our universities lag behind the best universities in the world. According to an international survey, an Indian university or an institution is missing from the top 200 ranks. Naturally, we feel shock," he said. source