“You have been lucky enough to gain education from this great university. But on this day, spare a thought to those young people who did not get such an opportunity in spite of deserving it. It is upto us to take the benefits of education and the opportunities it opens up to the last mile” the Vice President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu told the graduating students of the University of Delhi. He was addressing the 95th Annual Convocation the University of Delhi, here today.
The Vice President congratulated the University and said that that the vision and mission of the University truly reflected its long term commitment to nation building and an unflinching adherence to universal human values. He added that the motto of the University, ‘Nishtha Dhriti Satyam’, Dedication, Steadfastness and Truth justly reflected its ideals. Congratulating all the graduating students and prize winners, especially the young women, the Vice President appreciated the University’s focus on women’s education.
Shri Naidu observed that India had undertaken a long and arduous, yet rewarding journey in the field of education, from the “Guru –Shishya parampara” of learning under the shadow of a tree in the ancient times, to becoming the third largest in the world in the field of higher education.
The Vice President tasked the Universities of India with the responsibility of moulding young people into productive, enlightened citizens. Reminding everyone that India’s aim is inclusive and sustainable development, the Vice President said that the path to reach this goal had to be paved by the enterprising, intelligent and resourceful youth of the country.
The Vice President expressed his deep concern that the rise in the number of educational institutions in India had not led to corresponding improvement in the quality of education granted in the country. He opined that there was a need to re-engineer our entire education system. He warned that the ‘One size fits all’ approach followed by us so far will not take us anywhere and said that young people should be given the space to think freely. We cannot keep forcing the same syllabus on a student who excels in Science and a student who is a savant in music, he added. He also said that only half the time of a student should be spent in classrooms the rest should be spent in the community, in the playground, in nature and in open air to ensure balanced education.
Shri Naidu urged the students to not let their degrees and mark lists limit themselves. He said that those were just foundations and added that what they built from there, what they chose to be and do in life was totally upto them.
The Vice President said that there was a need to restore India’s ancient glory as a prime destination of quality higher education. India was once known as ‘Vishwaguru’ and ours universities were international centers of excellence, he added. He urged the private sector to play a more active role in meeting the demands of higher education and find ways to cross subsidise the education for the poor and the needy.
The Vice President said that India today stood at the cusp of an incredible demographic dividend, 65% of its population is below 35 years of age. He went on to add that this prospective demographic dividend could rapidly mutate into a demographic challenge if we fail to educate and skill our vast youth population appropriately, if we are unable to exploit their immense potential efficiently.
The Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Shri Satyapal Singh, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Yogesh Tyagi, students, faculty and staff of Delhi University and parents were present at the ceremony.
Following is the text of Vice President’s address:
“Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Minister of State, Human Resource Development, Government of India, Professor Yogesh Tyagi, Vice Chancellor, Prof. J.P. Khurana, Pro – Vice Chancellor, Prof. Tarun Kumar Das, Registrar, eminent guests, distinguished members of the University faculty, Dear students, Sisters and Brothers. I am happy to be with you on this auspicious occasion, the 95thAnnual Convocation of the University of Delhi.
It is my pleasure to be amongst some of the brightest young minds of India, who, with dreams in their eyes, are preparing to carve out a bright future for themselves and for this great country.
It is heartening to note that the University of Delhi, established in 1922 is today a premier educational body of our country with the privilege of a venerable legacy. It is also a proud achievement that it has been ranked No. 1 by US News Global Top University Ranking at the national level.
From a modest beginning with just three colleges, two faculty members and 750 students, the University since has grown greatly in status and eminence. It is now recognized as a premier imparter of higher education catering to the needs of more than 6 lakh students under various streams within the overarching framework of equity, justice and social inclusion.
The well-structured education programmes of the University are widely acknowledged both within India and globally for their innovative teaching-learning pedagogies and modern infrastructural support.
It is truly noteworthy that the vision and mission of the University foster its long term commitment to national building and an unflinching adherence to universal human values. The values of the University are truly reflected in its motto: ‘Nishtha Dhriti Satyam’ (Dedication, Steadfastness and Truth).
On this 95th Convocation, I congratulate the University of Delhi when it celebrates one more year of success in delivering meaningful and quality education.
Convocation is always an important event for any academic institution and a significant milestone in your academic growth.
It is a moment of pride and joy for the degree holders and the medal and prize winners present here today. The degrees, medals and prizes earned by all of you are the recognition for your relentless hard work and immense dedication.
It is surely a moment of great pride for your teachers and parents as well. Learning is a never ending process and the firm foundation provided to you by your alma mater will empower you to explore new horizons in your life.
This is also a great day for this institution which was your home for the last few years. It has nurtured and nourished you well. It is time that you take flight from its safe and protected premises to find your own place in the world. I hope that the University will add many more names to its glorious list of alumni in the years to come.
Friends, India has undertaken a long and arduous, yet rewarding journey in the field of education, from the “Guru –Shishya parampara” of learning under the shadow of a tree in the ancient times, to becoming the third largest in the world in the field of higher education, next to the United States and China.
India now boasts of having more than 33,000 colleges and 659 universities. The world has realized that the economic success of any nation is directly determined by their education systems. Education is a Nation’s power.
India today stands at the cusp of an incredible demographic dividend. 65% of its population is below 35 years of age. But this prospective demographic dividend can rapidly mutate into a demographic challenge if we do not educate and skill this vast youth population appropriately, if we are unable to exploit their immense potential efficiently.
The responsibility to mould these young people into productive, enlightened citizens lies with Universities such as this one. India’s aim is inclusive and sustainable development.
The path to reach this goal has to be paved by the enterprising, intelligent and resourceful youth of the country who are well educated and capable of leading the country forward.
Education is the main instrument for socio-economic transformation of the nation and lays the foundation for building a knowledge society. “Education is an investment, an educated individual will indeed serve the society”, said Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.
Education means the process by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, and intellect is sharpened, as a result of which one can stand on one’s own feet. True education equips the youth to contribute to the material progress of the country as well as to maintain India’s cultural and spiritual heritage.
Friends, it is a matter of grave concern to us that the rise in the number of educational institutions has not lead to corresponding improvement in the quality of education granted in this country. We do produce a large number of graduates and other degree holders but how many of them are well rounded, employable individuals capable of critical, rational thinking? How many of them are equipped enough to deal with the kind of fast paced changes that are happening in the world around?
There is a need to re-imagine and re-engineer our entire education system, top down and bottom-up. There has to be a change in the curriculum, teaching methodology, examination system, technology tools used and research.
Our current system of education fails to recognize the innate potential that exists within each student and fails to nurture and develop these unique qualities and capabilities.
This ‘One size fits all’ approach got us so far, but will not take us any further. We have to encourage our young people to be curious, to ask questions and to think independently. We cannot keep forcing the same syllabus on a student who excels in Science and a student who is a savant in music.
I would urge my young friends here to not let your degrees and mark lists limit you. This is just your foundation. What you build from here, what you choose to be and do in life is totally upto you. Let nothing limit your dreams or restrict your thirst for excellence.
You have been lucky enough to gain education from this great university. But on this day, spare a thought to those young people who did not get such an opportunity in spite of deserving it. There an urgent need concretize equity in higher education in India.
It is upto us to take the benefits of education and the opportunities it opens up to the last mile, to the last person. We should also take special care when it comes to providing barrier free access to education to our differently abled youngsters.
We need to restore India’s ancient glory as a prime destination of quality higher education. India was once known as ‘Vishwaguru’ and ours universities were international centers of excellence.
For the country to recapture the past glory, the private sector too will have to play a vital role in meeting the demands of higher education. The private sector must also find ways to cross subsidise the education for the poor and the needy.
It is also a cause for concern that there is very little original research coming out of India. For a country as vast and as diverse as India, facing problems ranging from poverty to environmental degradation, innovation is not a luxury but an urgent necessity.
A strong Research eco-system based on a multi-disciplinary approach is necessary for the development of any university. It is good to learn that the research profile of the University of Delhi has seen an upward shift in the last years through quality research driven by the eminent faculty.
I am also happy to learn that women comprise a good percentage of the student population in University of Delhi. It is important that young women particularly those belonging to marginal sections gain increase access to the portals of colleges and universities. Women’s empowerment through education will have a positive impact on the society and on our future generation.
The institutions of higher learning play a very important role in inculcating the sense of responsibility, honesty, conscience, justice and above all human values in students.
Today as you leave the portals of this institution, I am confident that you will use the intellectual, social and technical skills that you have acquired from the teachers and members of the faculty for the betterment of the nation.
As you venture into a new phase in your life and career, I wish you all a rewarding and professionally satisfying career, good health and success in all your endeavors. I also wish University of Delhi and its faculty members all the best in the years ahead. I am sure that the University will set higher and higher standards of excellence in the future.