Patil calls for united stand against terrorism (Lead)

September 23rd, 2008 - 6:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilLucknow, Sep 23 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Tuesday called upon all citizens to unitedly tackle the scourge of terrorism even as she expressed concern over the decline in research work being undertaken in Indian universities. She was speaking at a special convocation of Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow University where she was conferred the honorary doctorate of literature degree. “It is the duty of every citizen of the country to cooperate in combating terrorism,” said Patil at the function held amid tight security on the university’s old campus.

She addressed over 1,000 people, including students, teachers and officials. During the convocation ceremony, the university conferred doctorate of literature (Honoris Causa) degree on Patil.

She said: “We have to divest hatred from the minds of some of our misguided youth to bring them to the path of peace, amity and communal harmony.”

Patil termed terrorism and communal hatred as the enemies of development, stability and a peaceful society.

The president also paid tributes to inspector Mohan Chand Sharma.

Sharma, a Delhi Police Special Cell inspector, was killed in a shootout with suspected terrorists Friday in national capital’s Jamia Nagar.

While expressing concern over the decline in research work being undertaken in Indian universities, she stressed upon the need to have projects that respond to the requirements of society.

“Unfortunately, there has been a decline in our research capacity. This trend needs to be reversed,” said Patil.

Research facilities in our universities needed to be reinforced, she added.

“Universities must become centres of research and advanced research responding to the requirements of society and various economic sectors such as agriculture and industry.”

Patil said the country’s educational scenario was facing challenges both of quality and quality.

“National Knowledge Commission has stated that India requires 1,500 universities nationwide. Our current number falls far short,” said Patil.

She said that innovative teachers with multi-disciplinary approach were needed for imparting quality education.

Governor T.V. Rajeswar, who is also the chancellor of the university, emphasised on undertaking research work.

“One of the biggest lacunae in our higher education scene has been in the area of fundamental research in sciences, which has created a shortfall of teachers in higher institutions of science and management,” said Rajeswar.

He also laid stress on universalisation of primary education especially with reference to the girl child.

“Violence against women, restrictions on women and traditional role divisions of work continues to restrict women’s life choices in education and career,” he opined.

Of the youth between the age of 18 and 25 years, less than 20 percent receive higher education, he said.

Vice chancellor A.S. Brar said the varsity administration was making every attempt to boost research studies in various departments of the university.

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