Mukherjee said pursuit of academic excellence should be accompanied with the quest for moral development.
The president was delivering a New Year message to students, faculty members and academic fraternity of all national institutes of technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and central universities through video conferencing using the National Knowledge Network from Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"Understand our nation and its institutions. Read, learn and formulate views on national issues. Choose to engage with our beautiful, complex, often difficult and sometimes noisy democracy," the president said.
"Understand your rights and duties well, especially towards those who are less fortunate. The voiceless deserve your voice, the weak deserve your strength, and the needy deserve your help. Make the best use of your knowledge in the service of the nation and its citizens," the president said in his message.
Mukherjee suggested that an "Inspired Teachers' Lecture Series" be initiated to carry forward the benefits of excellence in teaching.
The president's message was received by institutes connected over 400 locations all over the country.
This is the first time the president, as Visitor of the central universities and institutions, has used the National Knowledge Network to reach out to students and the academic community.
--IANS (Posted on 07-01-2014)