Need novel steps to address lack of quality teachers: President

Pranab-MukherjeeKasaragod: President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said that vacancies at universities was a concern and stressed on the need to adopt innovative measures to deal with the lack of quality teachers in the country.

"The challenge before us is vacancies in universities. Innovative measures like appointing eminent resources on short -term basis from research institutions, industry or abroad have to be adopted to reduce vacancies without dilution of standards," Mukherjee said at the first convocation of the Central University of Kerala here.

After noting that Indian varsities did not feature among the top-200 in the world, the President, however, expressed confidence that the emphasis being now applied by these on the ratings process would lead to a few Indian institutions breaking into the list of top universities.

"With greater impetus being provided to the ratings process now, I am confident of finding a few Indian institutions, including IITs and NITs, among the top-ranking universities in the next couple of years," he said.

Mukherjee said India needs teachers who are driven by a selfless desire to mould the moral fibre of society.

"Our adage is 'Mata Pita Guru Daivam'. The teachers led exemplary lives, worthy of the reverence they received. India needs such teachers in greater numbers today, who are not only dedicated towards teaching and committed to their students, but are also driven by a selfless desire to mould the moral fibre of our society," he said.

In respect of the Central University of Kerala, which was established in 2009, the President said, "A School of Medicine and Public Health has been planned. In the context of the unfortunate 'Endosulphan' tragedy in Kasaragod, this is a welcome initiative."

He added that a classical language centre has also been envisaged.

The President also named the campus 'Tejaswani Hills' after river in the region.

Earlier, in his address, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy expressed confidence that the Central University would soon emerge as a Centre of Excellence.--- PTI