Delivering the convocation address at the Pondicherry University here, Mukherjee said: "If we are to grow as a nation, the education system has to figure prominently in the template of progress. There is a dearth of quality academic institutions to prepare our next generation.
Indian universities are not counted amongst the top-ranked universities in the world." He said a peek into India's past would find its education system dominating the world for about 1,800 years, beginning from the sixth century BC.
"Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramashila, Valabhi, Somapura and Odantapuri were the seats of world class universities. Let us together bring the changes required to make our present higher education system shine brightly once again," he said.
Citing the Right to Education becoming a reality, Mukherjee said the stress now should be on "right education".
"A university has to be a temple of learning; of humanism, tolerance and balanced reasoning. Through the intellectual pursuits and knowledge-sharing of scholars, academicians and scientists, it has to contribute to the progress of our society and the nation," he said.