Addressing the 13th Annual Convocation of Assam University here, he also expressed concerns over the inadequacies in the education sector to cater to a large population. "The increase in cases of crime against women and children calls for effective steps to ensure their safety and security. It also underscores the need for society to introspect and find ways to arrest the moral decline," Mukherjee said.
He exhorted universities to take efforts to meet the requirements of moral challenges faced by society. "It is for our universities and other institutes of higher learning to initiate a movement to meet the moral challenges and ensure that our civilisational values are once again reiterated," he said.
The President also noted the fundamental role played by education in development of society and the nation. "If our country has to continue on its path of higher growth, then the relentless pursuit of higher educational standards is an indispensable requirement for its achievement," he said.
The President said during the 11th Five Year Plan, 65 new central institutions, including 21 central universities, were started and the number of central institutions increased by about 75 per cent. But he noted that the "phenomenal growth is still inadequate to cater to the demand for higher education in the country."