Mind sports require support at par with physical sports: Vice President

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New Delhi: The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has said that mind sports require support and encouragement at par with physical sports. “No doubt, physical body has its limitations but the mind has unlimited capacity and this has to be tapped to its full potential,” he said addressing a delegation of the World Memory Sports Council for India, here today. This contingent has returned after bagging the fourth place at the World Memory Championships held last month at Shenzen, China.

The Vice President said that mind sports help students and youngsters greatly in improving their concentration levels, creativity and contribute to achieving success in life. “We need to move to analytical and logical thinking skills, not merely focus on rote learning and memorizing. Concept formation and understanding are important,” he said.

Talking about the need of a holistic education system, the Vice President said that rote mode of learning, high expectations from parents, increasing competition and eagerness of educational institutions to get top ranks are causing stress and anxiety among students. “It is really sad to come across reports of suicides by students, who are unable to cope with stress,” said Shri M Venkaiah Naidu. “Time has come for the institutions, governments and the society at large to prevent such suicides by extending support and comfort to distressed students. Under the rote system, they simply memorize to write examinations without understanding the basic concepts,” he added.

The Vice President said that there is a need for every Indian to learn these memory techniques and practice these memory sports on regular basis to have a healthy state of mind. “If students can learn and master memory techniques, they can work smarter and leave them with more time for other extra-curricular activities, thus ultimately contributing to their all-round development,” he said.

Following is the text of the Vice President’s address:

“I am happy to know that the Indian team has bagged the fourth place at the World Memory Championships held last month at Shenzen, China.

My congratulations to the team and the coaches! I am told that this young Indian team, comprising memory athletes, has been undergoing training on Memory Sports for the last six months under the guidance of Squadron Leader Jayasimha, President, World Memory Sports Council for India. I hope that the Indian team will be able to win the title in the next championship.

Various mind sports, including memory sports, are as important as physical sports and must be promoted and given importance. No doubt, physical body has its limitations but the mind has unlimited capacity and this has to be tapped to its full potential.

I feel mind sports should be popularized as they not only help in greatly improving the levels of concentration, but also help in enhancing creativity, mental discipline and contribute to achieving success in life.

Memory is an essential component of learning. However, the effort should be to make this the first step. We need to move to analytical and logical thinking skills, not merely focus on rote learning and memorizing. Concept formation and understanding are important.

Memorising techniques should be introduced and taught in schools so that young minds are not subjected to needless pressures. Learning must be a memorable experience not a stressful rigmarole for students. The rote mode of learning, high expectations from parents, increasing competition and eagerness of educational institutions to get top ranks are causing stress and anxiety among students.

We have been frequently coming across reports of suicides by students, who are unable to cope with stress. I get extremely anguished whenever I read such news reports as all those deaths of youngsters are avoidable deaths and the time has come for the institutions, governments and the society at large to prevent such suicides by extending support and comfort to distressed students. Under the rote system, they simply memorize to write examinations without understanding the basic concepts.

I am told that Memory training will make studies a pleasurable experience rather than a stressful nightmare. If students can learn and master memory techniques, they can work smarter. This will actually enable students to get better grades and leave them with more time for other extra-curricular activities, thus ultimately contributing to their all-round development.

Friends! India is blessed with a huge demographic advantage with 65 per cent of its population in the age group of 35 years. As such, there is a need to overhaul our education system so that the country’s youngsters excel in the fields of science & technology, innovation, medicine and engineering and make new discoveries.

Good memory is needed not only in academics, but also in our professional career. Most importantly, as we age we tend to forget people’s names, faces, numbers and many elderly people also suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or absent mindedness. Hence, there is a need for every Indian to learn these memory techniques and practice these memory sports on regular basis to have a healthy state of Mind.

I am told that the World Memory Sports Council conducts Memory Championships every year in 10 different fields including memorising words, memorising numbers, memorising playing cards, memorising names and faces, memorising abstract images, memorising binary digits and memorising spoken numbers.

I once again convey my best wishes to the Indian team.”