Vice President Venkaiah Naidu today asked universities and educational institutions to build the competencies required for functioning effectively in a "globalised" world.
He said universities are expected to excel not only in providing quality education, but also in developing global citizens.
"Today, universities are expected to excel not only in providing quality education, but (also focus) more importantly in developing global citizens.
"The world is shrinking into a global village because of information technology resources. The universities of today have to build the competencies required for functioning effectively in a globalised world. This calls for an attitudinal change and learning how to learn," Naidu said.
The vice president was speaking at the eighth convocation ceremony of the Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management (GITAM) here.
Highlighting the role of faculty in shaping universities, he pointed out that economic growth of a country is highly dependent on the creativity of human resources and innovation through research and development.
"The faculty must devote some time to relevant research.
This will improve the intellectual stature of the universities and make them the powerhouses of knowledge. They can potentially be the think tanks for policy development," he said.
Naidu said the fourth industrial revolution and the advances in digital technology and robotics will together make certain types of jobs obsolete and also create many new jobs.
"We must prepare ourselves to cope with the emerging dramatic changes. We must be pro-active rather than be reactive. We must be agile and ride the waves of change."
He asked students to strive for excellence and not to settle for mediocrity or a business-as-usual approach.
Naidu said the country is faced with number of challenges such as global warming, loss of biodiversity, urban migration, increasing demand for energy, shortage of drinking water, polluted air, lack of safe waste disposal mechanisms and fuel-inefficient transportation.
He said universities should equip students with multidisciplinary knowledge and inter-disciplinary skills to study these problems and look for solutions.