"No country can progress without innovation. Higher educational institutions can take a leading role in encouraging innovative activities," Mukherjee said Saturday in his address to students of Krishnath College in Baharampur here.
Expressing concern over India lagging behind in patents, he said: "According to the International Patent Agency, in 2013, India's share was only 0.7 percent for new patents while that of China was 8.6 percent, Japan 26 percent, the US 36 percent and Germany 38 percent. This also points to the need for attaching more importance to research and innovation."
Mukherjee also called for restoring an atmosphere conducive for research and a perfect teacher-student relationship in educational institutions of the country.
"There is need for serious introspection on why our educational institutions are not among the front-ranking institutions in the world although we have no dearth of qualified teachers and brilliant students," he said.
Mukherjee also said that mere expansion of physical infrastructure in the education sector will not bring about proper improvement or lead to comprehensive development.
"The concept of a knowledge society means only by acquiring superior technology can a country become a superpower," he said.