Kolkata, December 1: President Pranab Mukherjee Friday here lamented the brain drain of Indian scholars and called for a "serious scrutiny" to counter this avoidable trend. "It is ironical that our higher education system, which is capable of producing world-class scholars, loses them to foreign universities. "A serious scrutiny is necessary to counter this avoidable trend. There is no dearth of talented students or inspired teachers. Evidence of this is the fact that graduates of Indian universities went on to win Nobel Prizes," he said at the annual convocation of the University of Calcutta Friday.
The president, an alumni of the varsity, was the chief guest at the ceremony. He was also conferred a D. Litt/Law Degree (Honoris Causa) as well as the Asutosh Mookerjee Memorial Medal introduced a year ago to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Sir Asutosh Mookerjee.
Recalling his association with his alma mater, Mukherjee said he had received a number of offers of honorary doctorate from many universities, none of which he accepted. He felt as the president, he "should not accept such offers". But, when the offer came from his own alma mater, his emotions and sentiments "overwhelmed" him.
Mukherjee said though he may not be worthy of such honour, he must accept it with all humility since it was a symbol of love and affection from his alma mater. "Higher education has a unique role to play in preparing the torch-bearers of tomorrow who will endeavour in different fields - from medicine to engineering, teaching, administration, business, politics and social service - to lead our nation to the high tables of global power. "It is therefore incumbent on our seats of higher learning to mould the next generation by inculcating in them the core values of patriotism, honesty, responsibility, discipline, respect for pluralism, respect for women and compassion," he said.