'Alchemy' education can take India to golden age: Prez Mukherjee

| Updated: Jul 25, 2017 03:47 IST

New Delhi [India], July 24 (ANI): Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday called for upgradation of higher educational institutions to world-class levels and said education is the alchemy that could take India to its next golden age. Delivering his farewell speech on the eve of demitting office as the 13th President of India, he said, "Education is the alchemy that can take India to its next golden age. A reordering of society is possible through the transformative power of education. For that, we have to upgrade our higher institutions of learning to world-class levels." Stressing that the universities should not be a place for rote- memorising but an assembly of inquisitive minds, he said, "Our education system must accept disruption as a norm and prepare our students to manage and build upon the disruptions." He further said that the institutes of higher learning must promote "creative thinking, innovation and scientific temper". "It calls for the application of logic through discussion, argument and analysis. These qualities have to be cultivated and the autonomy of the mind has to be encouraged," he added. In his farewell speech, Mukherjee also said that everyone has the basic right to lead a healthy and happy life "which could be achieved through good governance, social inclusion and poverty eradication". "To lead healthy, happy and productive lives is the basic right of our citizens. Happiness is fundamental to the human experience of life. Happiness is equally the outcome of economic and non-economic parameters. The quest for happiness is closely tied to the quest for sustainable development, which is the combination of human well-being, social inclusion and environmental stability," he said. The President also emphasized on empowering the poorest of the poor and ensuring that the fruits of our policies reach the last person in the line "Eradication of poverty would provide a strong boost to happiness. A sustainable environment would prevent damage to planetary resources. Social inclusion would ensure access to the fruits of progress to all," he said. Good governance would enable the people to shape their own lives through transparent, accountable and participatory political institutions, the President said. President Mukherjee addressed the nation today on the eve of demitting office of the President. President-elect Ram Nath Kovind will take oath as the 14th President of India on Tuesday (July 25). (ANI)