"A nation which forgets the idealism of its past loses something vital from its future. Our educational institutions multiply as the aspirations of generations continue to exceed supply. But what has happened to quality, from base to apex?" Mukherjee said in his address on the eve of Independence Day.
"We recall the 'guru-shishya parampara' with legitimate pride. Why then have we abandoned the care, devotion and commitment that is at the heart of this relationship? A guru much like the soft and skilful hands of a potter, moulds the destiny of shishya."
"The student with devotion and humility acknowledges the debt of the teacher. Society respects and recognises the merit and scholarship of the teacher. Is that happening in our education system today? Students, teachers and authorities must pause and introspect."
The president also commented on natural disasters, asserting that the symbiotic relationship between man and nature has to be preserved.
"A generous nature when violated can turn into a destructive force leading to calamities resulting in huge loss of life and property. Even as I speak, large parts of the nation are barely recovering from floods. We need immediate relief for the afflicted as well as long-term solutions for the management of both, water deficiency and excess," he added.