Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, today said that religious harmony and unity in diversity are cherished values of our civilization and asked every citizen of the nation to strive to preserve our values of national integration.
He was addressing the Second Convocation ceremony of Shri Vaishnav Vidyapeeth Vishwavidyalaya in Indore, Madhya Pradesh today.
Stating that there was a need for rejuvenation and renaissance in our education system to make it world-class, Vice President Naidu said that educational institutions must focus on academic excellence, physical fitness, mental alertness, moral uprightness and social conscience.
He urged universities to strive to overcome challenges of quality, equity and access in education through the creation of knowledge networks, research and innovation centres, skill development programs and support for faculty development.
The Vice President said that, with technology making deep inroads in our day-to-day lives, there is a greater need today to align academic curriculum in accordance with changing technological developments and to stay ahead of the curve for the country to reach greater heights.
He spoke of the need for India to upscale research facilities to produce world-class publications in reputed international journals. ‘Research is an area where we are lagging behind and serious efforts are needed to bolster the culture of research and innovation in the country’, he said.
Highlighting the importance of preserving our rich culture, especially our languages, the Vice President also opined that mother tongue should be the primary medium of instruction in schools till the high school level.
Vice President Naidu also called for enhanced collaboration between academia and industry and urged the industry to earmark CSR funds for promoting collaboration with the academia and research activities.
Referring to India’s impending demographic dividend, Vice President Naidu said that India had the potential to become the human resource centre of the world. He said that quality education, skills, knowledge and creative thinking are essential to realize the demographic dividend and to make India a 21st-century innovation hub.
The Vice President said that we must turn our educational institutions into centres of excellence with global standards. ‘’Our universities and educational institutional institutions must attain great heights and figure in top-ranking global academic institutions’, he added.
Observing that the majority of students who win awards for merit and excellence in universities are women, the Vice President said that women’s education and empowerment must become people’s movements.
Vice President Naidu emphasized that there is a need for inculcating the qualities of sharing and caring among youngsters. ‘They need to have empathy for others, particularly for the vulnerable and marginalized sections of the society’, he said.
He urged the students to continuously update themselves with the latest technologies, innovations and the changes in the world. He advised them to think of the nation first and to work hard with determination to realize their dreams and the aspirations of more than a billion people.
He advised students to firmly adhere to the path of righteousness and remain committed to upholding ethics and morals at all times.
The Governor of Madhya Pradesh, Lal Ji Tandon, the Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Tulsiram Silawat, the Minister of Higher Education, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Jitu Patwari, former Speaker, Lok Sabha, Smt. Sumitra Mahajan and others were present at the occasion.