President Pranab Mukherjee said that any country becomes a superpower by not possessing weapons but by creating technology to further create super technology. He said it while addressing students of Central University of Himachal Pradesh in Shahpur here on the occasion of their second annual convocation.

The President showed his concern that not a single Indian institution figures in the world’s top 200 universities. President stressed for the need of transformative ideas to improve the institutions. He said that concrete action is required to not only have an in-depth understanding of the criteria and process followed by the ranking agencies but to also develop a strategy to project the achievements more effectively.

Mukherjee said governance structures have to be supportive of innovative ideas and also facilitative of faster decision making. President asked the Universities and other higher learning institutions to give maximum emphasis on research as that would ensure the country a respectable place on the “high table of comity of nations” which are both economically and politically stronger.

He asked the Universities to invest in technology upgradation and start “knowledge networks” by utilising Information Technology and Communication tools.

The President presented Honoris Causa to Dr. Vijay Kelkar, noted economist and administrator and inaugurated an Exhibition of Innovators and Entrepreneurs of Himachal Pradesh on the occasion.

On the occasion Governor Urmila Singh said that youth were the most vibrant and dynamic segment of our population and they should contribute towards the welfare of the society as responsible citizens.

Urmila Singh said that Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, had always remained a source of inspiration for the educated and his guidance and farsightedness had helped the students throughout the country. She said that his experience and advice would also not only help the higher educational institutes to progress but would leave unlasting impression amongst the intellectuals at international level also.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that it was momentous occasion for Himachal Pradesh that Pranab Mukherjee spared his valuable moments for the students and faculty of the Central University.

He said that establishment of the Central University had been a long cherished dream of the people of Himachal Pradesh and the State government was committed to facilitate the development and growth of this University as a Centre of Excellence in higher education.
The Chief Minister said that this University had been able to materialize the ambitious objective of providing quality education. The University had a great responsibility in promoting and preserving the State’s traditional art and culture besides nurturing students in different modern disciplines.

Union Minister Chandresh Kumari, Speaker H.P. Vidhan Sabha, Brij Bihari Lal Butail, Urban Development Minister, Sudhir Sharma, Viplov Thakur and Rajan Sushant MP’s, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Neeraj Bharti, MLA Sarween Choudhary, Chancellor of the University, Arun Maira, Chief Secretary P. Mitra, Director General of Police Sanjay Kumar, Vice Chancellor Professor Furqan Qamar, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Members of the Statutory Bodies, Vice Chancellors of other universities, Deans and Members of the Faculty and Staff were present on the occasion.