Improving quality of higher education should be the top priority of the country, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said while emphasising that institutes of higher learning must nurture innovation for the benefit of common man.
Talking about the quality of higher education, the President said, "I am sad that as per a report only 52% of engineering graduates and 34% of our overall skill pool are employable".
He also regretted that India has failed to produce world class higher educational institutes despite its rich history, and said the country has to give top priority in improving quality of higher educational, science and technical institutes.
"We have to improve the quality of education and attract the best of teachers if we want to occupy our rightful place in the comity of nations," Mukherjee said at the convocation function of Indian School of Mines.
The President, however, noted that a small beginning has been made recently with the couple of IITs finding their place in the top 200 in the subject categories.
IIT-Madras and IIT-Bombay are among the top 50 institutions in civil engineering while IIT-Delhi and IIT-Bombay are in the top 50 in the electrical engineering.
In the Times higher education 2014 survey of top 100 universities established less than 50 years ago, IIT-Guwahati has been ranked 87th, he said.
"I want our institutions to build up on this initial successes and achieve a much higher overall ranking," Mukherjee said.
"Institutes of higher learning must nurture innovation for the benefit of the common man," he said.
Referring to the rich legacy of ISM and its academic reputation, Mukherjee said that this institute should concentrate on developing technologies that increase the efficiency of resource extraction.