"A resurgent India needs young leaders who dream big and think out-of-the-box," Rao said at the inauguration of 'Indradhanushya-2014', a youth festival involving universities across Maharashtra, at Sant Gadgebaba Amravati University.
Expressing happiness at the youth taking keen interest in democracy and governance, Rao observed that nearly 23 million first-time voters exercised their franchise in the recent general elections, which, he said, augured well for the future of the country and democracy.
He said the 'Make in India' campaign has the potential to transform the nation into a manufacturing hub and create job opportunities for over 10 million youth who join the workforce every year.
"We need participation of our youth to realise this dream. We want our youth to stop being job seekers and aspire to become team leaders and entrepreneurs instead," he said.
Observing that discipline and determination are the defining attributes of any society, Rao asked the youth to imbibe discipline and develop character more vigorously for the nation to progress in the economic field. He also advised teachers and vice chancellors to shed complacency and usher in a culture of excellence in institutions of higher learning when India was aspiring to become a global leader.
"We have to rejuvenate our entire higher education system," he said. The Governor said research should not be see only as an extension of post-graduation.
"Research should be of a high order and prioritised, keeping in mind local issues as well as fields of specialisation," he said. He also suggested creation of innovation clubs and urged universities to uphold strong fundamentals in the wake of competition by private universities.
Teaching must be top-grade and facilitated by attracting and retaining talent, he stressed and asked colleges and universities to provide the best learning experience while maintaining affordability and excellence. Rao remembered Sant Gadgebaba, saying he was the pioneer of the 'Clean India' movement which has now caught the nation's imagination.