New Delhi: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called upon the youth to become agents of change and take lead in addressing the challenges such as illiteracy, economic inequalities and social discrimination based on cast, creed or gender.
Addressing students of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras through Extra Mural Lecture Series on the subject “India 2020 to 2030: A Vision for the Decade,” Shri Naidu expressed concern over the growing tendency to use technology irresponsibly to spread fake information or hate messages. He opined that the moral compass of the society that was essential to enhance common good and well being of all was losing relevance.
Drawing the immediate attention of scientists, technology experts, researchers and the future leaders towards the crucial agriculture sector, the Vice President wanted them to interact with farmers and Krishi Vigyana Kendras on a regular basis to disburse innovations of Lab to farmers land. He suggested premier institutions such as IITs to come out with new ideas to make agriculture more viable, sustainable, and profitable.
Describing the role of agriculture in sustaining rural economy, and its contribution to ensuring food security of the nation, the Vice President said that emphasis must be laid at Home Grown food security, and at the same time ensure that the population also gets protein rich food.
The Vice President asked all research institutions in the country to focus on making agriculture profitable and sustainable and come up with realistic, cost-effective and efficient solutions. He asked agricultural scientists and technology experts to work with the farmers to evolve new solutions to improve the farmers’ quality of life.
Quoting the clarion call of “back to villages” given by Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, He called for the special attention towards rural areas and said that the youth must develop an aptitude for rural areas.
“We cannot have inclusive growth if rural areas are neglected or the rural farmers and artisans are famished,” he added.
Shri Naidu while expressing concern over the growing urban-rural divide, said that people was moving from rural areas to urban areas for better opportunities regarding Healthcare, education and employment.
To address this, the Vice President called for creating urban amenities in rural areas and create opportunities for rural youth and women acquire skills to stand on their own. He asked the all the future engineers to explore ways and means to make urban areas more livable and sustainable.
Upon being asked about his views to transform rural areas, during question and answer session after his address, the Vice President said that connectivity was vital for rural development, be it transport or technological. He called for providing facilities, and training the locals along with creating infrastructure such as a cold storage facilities for farmers.
Pointing out that cities were slowly becoming unlivable due to congestion and pollution, water bodies were getting contaminated, and that natural resources were steadily depleting due to thoughtless, reckless exploitation, the Vice President wanted the younger generation to find solutions ensure a clean India.
He wanted them to explore ways to provide affordable and clean energy, encourage responsible consumption and production and take concrete steps towards climate action.
Asking all the countrymen, especially the youth to perform their duties and have concern for the less fortunate and the less privileged, the Vice President said that it was the responsibility of all to see that the fruits of development reach the most deserving section of the society.
Stressing the need to celebrate India’s greatest asset, its tremendous diversity, Shri Naidu said that one must understand about the time-tested bonds of unity that were deeply rooted in this great diversity. He called for keeping these bonds strong to preserve India’s unique identity and show the world the path towards harmonious co-existence and celebration of differences.
The Vice President emphasised the need to resurrect India’s age-old civilizational values that were based on its core philosophy of care and share. He wanted everybody to become a better human being, who cares about fellow beings and contributes to the welfare of all.
“We must draw inspiration from our ancient cultural heritage that has celebrated diversity, embraced plurality and stood for inclusivity. Share and care have been the core qualities of Indian philosophy,” he said.
On the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Vice President asked people to study the Act, and understand its background, and then come to any conclusion. Shri Naidu said that CAA came in to being after it was duly debated in both the Houses of the Parliament.
Maintaining that democracy allows everyone to express their opinions, the Vice President asserted that expression of one’s opinion must be in a democratic manner, and it should not hurt the interest of the nation.
Asking the youngsters to stay rooted and draw sustenance from the best in the Indian tradition, the Vice President advised them to reach out for the stars but not to be complacent and settle for mediocrity.
“I believe that pursuit of excellence and utmost dedication and devotion to one’s duties is the highest form of patriotism,” he added.
Opining that education must be holistic, integrating different disciplines, Shri Naidu said: “Our world view must be based on India’s timeless values we have inherited – of empathy, harmony, tolerance, non-violence, and peaceful co-existence.” He wanted the youth to read and learn more about India’s great history, culture and traditions and take lead in preserving and protecting this grand legacy and take it forward.
Stating that good quality education was a powerful determinant of the progress of any nation, the Vice President stressed the need to improve the education system along the crucial dimensions of quality, accessibility, affordability, inclusiveness, equity, and gender parity.
Stating that women who constitute fifty percent of the population must be made equal partners in the developmental process of the nation, the Vice President said educating the girl child was the first step towards empowerment of women following by providing them reservations at state legislatures, and the Parliament.
Pointing out that poverty and deprivation were an affront to prosperity everywhere, the Vice President called for collective efforts to bridge the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ and create a nation where everyone has the opportunity to lead prosperous, peaceful lives and reach their full potential.
Stressing that quantitative growth in terms of GDP was meaningful only if we could make every citizen a partner, a stakeholder and a beneficiary of the development process, the Vice President said that the government’s mantra of ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’was indeed a clarion call to usher in a new era of inclusive development.
On this occasion, the Vice President spent over two hours at IIT, Madras campus and had extensive interactions with the students during which he answered their queries on wide ranging topics.
The Minister for Fisheries, Personnel & Administrative Reforms, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Shri D. Jayakumar, Director of IIT Madras, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, and Dean (Students), IIT Madras, Prof. M. S. Sivakumar, were present at the event attended by students and the faculty members.