On Saturday, President Pranab Mukherjee addressed the 52nd Annual Convocation at IIM Calcutta where he said that universities must encourage debates and discussions, but not intolerance.
“Let hundreds of ideas blossom in universities and let there be debate, not confrontation,” President Mukherjee said.
“Accept criticism as argument and not as intolerance,” he added.
He referred Jawaharlal Nehru as the one who built modern India, who he had helped build an atmosphere of free debate and discussions and not conflict and confrontation.
“As Amartya Sen had said, an Indian can be argumentative, but not intolerant,” Mukherjee said.
“India is a land of tolerance, land of Buddha, land of Chaitanya, but not land of intolerance,” the President added, also mentioning that “please excuse me if I have hurt any sentiment by saying so”.
The President also made the point that management education, in order to be world class, needs to be able to embrace contrasting pedagogical approaches, multi-disciplinary allegiances, and contemporary skills and capabilities.
He also spoke of making management education holistic to instil sensitivity of socio economic surroundings in learners.
“Management education like education in other professional streams cannot be divorced from the socio-economic reality facing the nation,” Mukherjee said. “Skilled and socially sensitive professionals will not only build Indian leadership in global business and industry, but carry on their shoulders the developmental priorities of the nation.”
The President emphasised that the academic environment should be free from physical and mental violence, particularly in the seats of higher learning.
(With inputs from PTI)