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Emphasising on bringing higher education closer to common man, President Pranab Mukherjee said the dream of creating world class universities in India is an achievable aspiration.

"We must remember that once we had world class universities in Nalanda and Takshashila where brilliant minds of the world came for acquiring education. Therefore, the dream of creating world class universities in India is an achievable aspiration," he told the 13th annual convocation of Assam University in Silchar town of North Eastern Indian state of Assam.

"India with strong scientific and technical manpower has the opportunity to become a major knowledge power in the years to come. To make this dream a reality, we have to invest in research and development," Mukherjee said.

To make education accessible to more students, efforts must be directed at bringing higher education closer to the population, particularly to those in remote corners of the country, he said.

“We must remove the imbalances in the reach of higher education across states, regions and sections of society. Knowledge pursuit has many dimensions. It brings gender equity as a result of access and reach," he said.

Mukherjee expressed happiness over the attention paid to women education in northeast which has resulted in a large of number of girls from the region to pursue education in major cities across the country and find employment in metropolises.

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