The Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today asserted that University and college campuses must not become safe havens for the politics of hate and violence to thrive. He stressed that the academic endeavors and co-curricular initiatives must attain primacy in universities and not factionalism and divisive tendencies.
Addressing the Silver jubilee of National Assessment and Accreditation Council in Bengaluru today, he said that the students leaving the portals of the educational institutions must be enlightened citizens who would take an abiding interest in protecting our democracy and preserving the fundamental values that were enshrined in our constitution.
M Venkaiah Naidu stressed that Institutions must mold students to be compassionate, kind, empathetic human beings whose integrity was beyond reproach. He said that it was the duty of the education system to create model global citizens who will build a better world.
Stating that Mahatma Gandhi considered ‘knowledge without character’ as a sin, the Vice President said that education that teaches, values, ethics and inculcated the spirit of voluntarism, compassion was the need of the hour.
The Vice President urged upon all Educational institutions to transform into centers of excellence where students get knowledge, cultivate skills and foster the attitude that was necessary for a successful, happy and accomplished life along with academics.
He called upon the government and the private sector to work together in collaboration with organizations such as NAAC to make India the global hub of higher learning and scholarship.
Stating that India has one of the largest and most diverse education systems in the world, the Vice President pointed out that privatization, widespread expansion, increased autonomy and introduction of Programs in new and emerging areas have improved access to higher education.
Observing that there was a deep and inseparable connection between a nation’s educational institutions and its economic wellbeing, the M Venkaiah Naidu stressed the need to transform institutions into hubs of innovation and excellence to build a knowledge economy.
Describing human capital and innovation as the two pillars of GDP growth in India, the Vice President called for empowering India’s youth with the required skills and knowledge.
Opining that building a knowledge economy was important in taking India into a thriving and sustainable economic growth trajectory to create a $5-trillion economy by 2024, he said that constantly reforming institutions of higher education was necessary.
Referring to India’s ancient centers of learning, Nalanda, Vikramsila, Takshashila and the likes of it were eulogized by one and all across the globe for their openness, commitment to quality and excellence, the Vice President called upon higher educational institutions to draw ideas and inspiration from India’s golden past where education flourished, earning India the coveted title of being the ‘Viswaguru’.
He opined that the variety of courses that were designed and implemented to build competence among the students to succeed in life holds a lesson for us in the modern times.
The Vice President stressed the need to address the structural lacunae in our higher education system, especially on matters relating to funding, filling up of vacancies and steps must be made to continuously augment the knowledge, skills and capabilities of the teaching faculty.
He called for special focus on improving Research and Development at all higher educational institutions and stressed that an array of problems that the nation faces today- from declining agricultural productivity to climate change, from challenges of urban development to threats to human health could be tackled through Science, Technology and innovation.
M Venkaiah Naidu, while expressing concern over the low global ranking of Indian universities in both research and teaching and that India spends less than 1% of its GDP on R&D, the Vice President wanted the situation changed with more allocation and provide incentives for students pursuing research.
The Governor of Karnataka, Vajubhai Vala, Chief Minister, B.S. Yediyurappa, the Director NAAC, Prof. S.C. Sharma and Adviser Dr.Amiya Kumar Rath were present at the venue.