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 Kunga Nima Lepcha, Minister for Education Government of Sikkim, Shri Achyuta Samanta, 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 and teachers were among those who participated in the e-convocation.