Addressing the concluding ceremony of the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Utkal University, he said universities were great hubs of ideas, but not ivory towers. They were part of society and thus remain engaged with social change, he added.
The academic community should be engaged in research that would create not only new knowledge base but also sustain human society, he said.
Environment, health and education should be taken up vigorously. Institutions like the Utkal University that were endowed with multi-disciplinary faculty were better equipped to undertake this task, he said.
Stating that an occasion like platinum jubilee is a milestone, Kovind said, "During a long journey, when we come across it, we pause; then we look back and gaze ahead. It's time to take stock of achievements as well as the areas where further improvements are possible."
For the whole Utkal community, it was the time to rededicate themselves to the vision of the institution's founders, the President said.
He expressed confidence that the University would remain committed to playing a significant role in higher education and research, nationally and globally.
Earlier in the day, the President laid the foundation stone of the Paika Rebellion Memorial at Barunei Hill in Khurdha.
( With inputs from IANS )