Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu addresses E-Convocation of ICFAI University virtually

New Delhi:The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called upon the universities and educators to re-evaluate our education system to make it more value-based, holistic and complete.

Addressing the 13th e-convocation of ICFAI University, Sikkim, through video-conferencing today, the Vice President asked the educators to take inspiration from our holistic Vedic education and understand the vision behind New Education Policy.

Quoting Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, the Vice President said that education without values is no education at all. “Educational institutions and universities are expected to produce well-rounded and compassionate human beings and not mere degree holders”, he said and rued that often, this aspect gets ignored in the race for paychecks.

Giving the example of climate change, Shri Naidu said the holistic solution to combat this challenge should include a value-based education that respects nature. He stressed the need to equip our engineers and technologists to create new defences and come up with innovative out-of-box solutions to meet the challenges posed by extreme weather events. No human intervention can totally withstand nature’s fury but we have to minimize its impact, he warned.

Highlighting that values had always been emphasized in our ancient systems, the Vice President said that our Vedas and Upanishads mandate our duties towards self, family, society and nature. We were taught to live in harmony with nature, he emphasized.

Stressing the importance of nature and culture in one’s life, the Vice President asked the students to learn from nature and follow the values enshrined in our ancient culture.

Appreciating the Gurukul system, Shri Naidu said that education was complete in all respects in our ancient times and this is what gave us our title of Vishwa Guru at that time.

He said the New Education Policy also envisages these ideals and aims at making India a “Vishwa guru” once again.

Underlining the paradigm shift envisaged in the New Education Policy (NEP, the Vice President said it tries to do away with a segregated approach to education and replaces it with an integrated approach.

Describing the New Education Policy as “much needed reform”, he lauded it for its focus on multi-disciplinary method and efforts to reorient the research and the regulatory systems.

Stating that value-based education with proper synergy with technology was the need of the hour, Shri Naidu said that we need professionals who are not only well versed with the latest technology, but are also empathetic and understanding.

He stressed that education founded in life values can ensure a long and prosperous career as people with such values will have high emotional intelligence and resilience to fight adversities in life.

The Vice President asked the students to be confident, develop a positive outlook, set clear targets and work with sincerity, discipline and dedication towards realizing whatever goals they set in life. “The fast-changing world requires you to think critically and adapt quickly to the new situation. You need to be pro-active, anticipate the future and be prepared to meet the challenge”, he told them.

Asking the Universities to prepare students to effectively deal with real-world challenges, the Vice President cited the example of COVID-19 pandemic which caught all nations off-guard and unprepared. “We have to learn lessons from this pandemic and experts need to come together and come up with solutions to meet such threats in the future”, he said.

Shri Naidu told students that the COVID pandemic was the first big adversity in front of them. However, he asked them to leverage technology to create opportunities out of it instead of looking at it as a crisis. “For those of you seeking to become job creators, there cannot be a better place to implement your business ideas than India right now as we are following our Prime Minister’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat”, he said.

Asking the students to always place the interests of the country above everything else, the Vice President wanted them be at the forefront in eliminating social and other evils that hinder the growth and development of the nation on various fronts.

Appreciating the founder of ICFAI group late Shri N.J. Yasaswy, the Vice President said that the university has been providing quality education to students in the region.

Shri Ganga Prasad, Governor of Sikkim, Shri Prem Singh Tamang, Chief Minister of Sikkim,

Shri KungaNimaLepcha, Minister for Education Government of Sikkim, Shri AchyutaSamanta, Member of Parliament, Gurudev Shri Shri Ravi Shankar ji, Shri S C Gupta, Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim,

Dr. R.P Kaushik, Chancellor of ICFAI University, Sikkim,Dr. Jagannath Patnaik, Vice Chancellor, students, parents andteachers were among those who participated in the e-convocation.

Following is the full text of speech –

“I am delighted to participate in the 13th e-convocation of ICFAI University, Sikkim. I am sure the students would have preferred an actual convocation rather than a virtual one. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this has become the new normal. In this regard, I must appreciate the efforts of ICFAI Sikkim in organizing this e-convocation.

On this momentous occasion, I would like to begin by congratulating the students for acquiring their coveted degrees and awards. This is indeed your day, and you should feel proud about it! I also congratulate the professors and gurus, who nurtured and mentored the young minds. Lastly, I must also congratulate the parents, who are the first gurus of their wards. This is their success too!

Dear young friends, today is the culmination of your all hard work and academic efforts. But, today also marks a new beginning for all of you. You will be now facing the real world, a new world.

Whatever you might choose to become—some might prefer to pursue higher studies, others might take up jobs while some might try their hand to be entrepreneurs, be confident, develop a positive outlook, set clear targets and work with sincerity, discipline and dedication towards realizing your goals.

You will be expected to use the skills you have learned and acquired. It is more than just the degree you got—the fast-changing world requires you to think critically and adapt quickly to the new situation. You need to be pro-active, anticipate the future and be prepared to meet the challenge. Universities, on their part need to prepare students to effectively deal with real-world challenges.

Let us take the example of the COVId-19 pandemic. All the nations, even the most advanced ones, were caught off-guard and were totally unprepared in tackling the serious health crisis it has triggered. We have to learn lessons from this pandemic and experts from all domains–from epidemiologists to environmentalists—need to come together and come up with solutions to meet such threats in the future.

Dear youngsters,

The COVID pandemic is the first great adversity in front of you. It has disrupted supply chains, changed social interactions and affected economies. As bright minds, you should look to create opportunities instead of looking at it as a crisis. Like always, technology will be a critical factor and you should leverage it in making your mark and thriving in the new normal.

For those of you seeking to become job creators, there cannot be a better place to implement your business ideas than India right now as we are following our Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

My dear brothers and sisters,

Educational institutions and universities are expected to produce well-rounded and compassionate human beings and not mere degree holders. They should bring out the best in each individual with great foundational values. Often, this aspect gets ignored or sidelined in the race for paychecks. Education without values is no education at all. As Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore put it and I quote “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence”

Take climate change for instance; it is already here, impacting us. We certainly need to equip our engineers and technologists to create new defences and come up with innovative out-of-box solutions to meet the challenges posed by extreme weather events. No human intervention can totally withstand nature’s fury but we have to minimize its impact. The holistic solution to combat climate change should include a value-based education that respects nature. A complete education also nurtures humanistic values in students.

It should be remembered that a basis in life values had always been emphasized in our ancient systems. We were taught to live in harmony with nature. Our vedas and upanishads mandate our duties towards self, family, society and nature. Education was thus complete in all respects in our ancient times and the Gurukul system was known for it. This is what gave us our title of Vishwa Guru.

The New Education Policy also envisages these ideals and I commend the vision of the government in bringing it out. It aims at making India a “Vishwa guru” once again and promises a paradigm shift in our education. It tries to do away with a segregated approach to education and replaces it with an integrated approach.

Quite rightly, the NEP focuses on multi-disciplinary method. It also seeks to reorient the research and the regulatory systems. Thus, there will be a much-needed, fundamental re-look at the education system in India under the NEP.

Friends,

Value-based education with proper synergy with technology is the need of the hour to produce professionals who are not only adept at adopting the latest technology, but are also empathetic and understanding.

In other words, education founded in life values can ensure a long and prosperous career. People with such values will have high emotional intelligence and resilience to fight adversities in life. Let us not forget what Mahatma Gandhi understood by true education. “By education, I mean an all-round drawing of the best in child and man in body, mind and spirit”.

Hence, friends, it is my sincere recommendation to universities and educators in the country: Take inspiration from our holistic Vedic education, understand the vision behind our New Education Policy, and re-evaluate our education system to make it more value-based, holistic and complete.

Young friends,

The very fact that you are a part of this congregation today is a testimony to the acquisition of your knowledge and skills through hard work. You are among the fortunate few who have had access to University Level education. Now you have a duty towards your family, society and the country at large.

Always place the interests of the country above everything else. Even 73 years after attaining Independence, we are still saddled with many challenges. We need to totally eliminate poverty, make India 100 per cent literate, put an end to all kinds of discrimination, ensure women’s empowerment, eliminate corruption, remove urban-rural divide and build a prosperous New India.

Dear students, youngsters like you need to be at the forefront in eliminating social and other evils that hinder the growth and development of the nation on various fronts.

Once again, I congratulate the students, parents and educators on this achievement. ICFAI University has been serving the educational needs of this region and I would like to compliment the founder of ICFAI group late N.J. Yasaswy, who was a visionary and wanted to provide quality education to north east India.

My dear young friends, my best wishes to all of you for your future endeavors! May you have the courage to explore uncharted territories and the ability to successfully navigate through difficult times to reach greater heights!

Let me conclude by recalling the famous words of Swami Vivekananda: “Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached”.

Thank you.

Jai Hind!”

 

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