Vice President calls upon youngsters to draw inspiration from the Olympians to work hard and achieve their goals

RSTV Bureau

The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today called upon youngsters to draw inspiration from the Olympians who not only made the nation proud with their achievements but also generated widespread interest in various sports.

Urging youngsters to work hard to achieve their goals, Shri Naidu said that hard work never goes unrewarded and it will always yield positive results. “So, don’t give up, fight for your dreams and make a difference to the world,” he added.

Virtually addressing the concluding ceremony of Diamond Jubilee commemorations of Shivaji College, the Vice President said that students should be allowed to spend equal time in classrooms and recreation grounds. He said that participation in sports boosts confidence, builds team spirit and improves physical fitness, which he said was important to combat the rising incidence of lifestyle diseases. “Sports should be made part of the curriculum and students must be encouraged to place equal emphasis on sports and other forms of physical activities,” he added.

Highlighting the life-changing role teachers play in a student’s life, the Vice President emphasised that no matter how successful one becomes, they should never forget the cardinal role of their teachers in shaping their lives. He said that the values and teachings that the teachers impart help shape the life of an individual and the society at large. “Learning is an endless, yet fruitful journey in which both students and teachers advance together,” he added.

The Vice President said that apart from imparting quality education, our teachers must also inculcate in students the ability to face difficult situations with courage and equanimity. He emphasised that educational institutions must pay special attention to the emotional stress faced by students, especially in the wake of the pandemic.

Observing that there is a huge potential for India to become a world leader in various technological domains given the demographic advantage and the presence of highly talented youth, the Vice President said “we need to go beyond books and explore the experiential method of learning.” He mentioned that the experiential learning approach was followed in ‘Gurukuls’, where students were taught by their gurus in a hands-on manner giving them practical experience in an open environment. “I feel the experiential method of learning, which helps students think critically and creatively, is the way forward and should be inculcated in our education system,” he added.

Appreciating the unity shown by people during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vice President said, “From individuals to communities, from voluntary organisations to state agencies, everyone in India came forward to collectively overcome one of the severest challenges mankind has faced in recent times.” The Vice President lauded the students of Shivaji College and the University of Delhi for taking initiatives to connect health emergency support providers with the affected persons and their families during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Asserting that helping one another during a crisis is the essence of our culture, Shri Naidu said, “I am glad, we as a community, lived up to our ancient philosophy of – share and care.”

The Vice President also expressed his happiness over the involvement of Shivaji College students in community service and environment-sensitive initiatives. He said that involvement in such initiatives is important as they help in moulding the civic sensibilities of students and also instil compassion among them. “Passion and compassion should go hand-in-hand,” he added.

Professor PC Joshi, Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi, Professor Balaram Pani, Dean of Colleges, University of Delhi, Professor Suman Kundu, Director South Campus, University of Delhi, Prof. Shiv Kumar Sahdev, Principal, Shivaji College and others were present virtually on the occasion.

Following is the full text of speech –

“It gives me immense pleasure to be part of this joyous occasion of the concluding ceremony of the Diamond Jubilee commemorations of Shivaji College, University of Delhi. Sixty years is indeed a remarkable landmark. I congratulate the present and the past members of the faculty, students and staff, on this momentous occasion. Accomplishing such a milestone in the journey of an educational institution is a reflection of its service towards the cause of education and to the nation.

Shivaji College, founded in the year 1961, by the then Union Minister of Agriculture, Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Ji,has come a long way and is today counted among some of the most reputed institutions in the country. Its NAAC and NIRF rankings speak volumes about the quality of education being provided here. The green campus of Shivaji College also houses a beautiful herbal garden, and, I am told, it has been recently awarded the Dr Meenakshi Gopinath Cup for the Best Herbal Garden of University for two consecutive times. I am happy that the college is not only doing well academically but also doing its bit for the environment.

It pleases me to learn that many students at Shivaji College are engaged in community service and environment-sensitive initiatives. I hear that several voluntary services such as donation drives, health camps, cleanliness campaigns, tree plantations and outreach activities such as sensitisation programmes on social issues, literacy programmes for underprivileged children, and visits to old-age homes are part of the extracurricular life at Shivaji College. Such engagements are very important in moulding the civic sensibilities of students and also instil compassion among them. Passion and compassion should go hand-in-hand. After all, compassion is the soul of education—compassion towards our fellow beings and compassion to nature should be the moral anchor for all.

My dear students,

We, as a nation, are emerging from one of the most trying times with the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc globally. From individuals to communities, from voluntary organisations to state agencies, everyone in India came forward to collectively overcome one of the severest challenges mankind has faced in recent times.

I am told that Shivaji College and its students also strove to mitigate the hardship of people affected by the pandemic. From giving substantial fee concessions to all the students to offering support to outstation students, from setting up COVID Task Force to opening vaccination centre in the premises, assisted by NCC volunteers, Shivaji College has set a fine example as an educational institution. I am happy to note that the NSS volunteers from Shivaji College along with other University of Delhi colleges took initiatives to connect health emergency support providers with the affected persons and their families in the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. This is the essence of our culture—helping one another during a crisis. I am glad, we as a community, lived up to our ancient philosophy of “share and care”.

Dear faculty members, I would like to convey my appreciation to all of you for imparting education online and ensuring that students did not suffer academically during the pandemic.

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, our former President, teacher and thinker, had said, and I quote “The end-product of education should be a free creative man, who can battle against historical circumstances and adversities of nature.” I feel gurus or teachers play a life-changing role in every student’s life. The values and teachings they impart will help shape the life of an individual and the society at large. I feel that apart from giving quality education, our teachers must also help in instilling a sense of purpose and inculcate in students, the ability to face difficult situations with courage and equanimity. Educational institutions must pay special attention to the emotional stress faced by students, especially in the wake of the pandemic. Once normalcy returns and students attend regular classes, teachers must transform classrooms into hubs of innovative learning and keep the students motivated to give their best to achieve their goals.

Dear students,

Learning is an endless, yet fruitful journey in which both students and teachers advance together. Your teachers and gurus are an anchor in your life and will be your guiding light. Therefore, no matter how successful you become, never forget their cardinal role in shaping your lives. Remember that hard work never goes unrewarded and will always yield positive results. So, don’t give up, fight for your dreams and make a difference to the world.

In the recently concluded Olympics, we came to know of many remarkable stories of our athletes who moved heaven and earth to make it to the most prestigious events in the world in their chosen discipline. We must draw inspiration from these phenomenal sportspersons who not only made the country proud with their achievements, but also generated widespread interest in various sports which were probably not as popular before the Olympics. Some of these sportspersons took the path less travelled and left a lasting impact on many. There is a lesson in this for everyone—trust in your goal and your journey and give your all to it. Success will inevitably follow.

Dear students and faculty members,

I have always stressed the need for schools and colleges to promote sports, yoga and other forms of physical activities. Students should be allowed to spend equal time in both classrooms and recreation grounds. Participation in sports boosts confidence, builds team spirit and improves physical fitness, which is important to combat the rising incidences of lifestyle diseases, especially among the youth. Therefore, sports should be made part of curriculum and students must be encouraged to place equal emphasis on sports and other forms of physical activities.

Dear students and faculty members,

India has had a long and illustrious past of holistic education. The aim of education in ancient India was not just the acquisition of knowledge but also of wisdom, complete realization and liberation of the self. The ancient Indian education system had produced scholars Charaka and Susruta, Aryabhatta, Bhaskaracharya, Chanakya, Patanjali and many others. Their lasting contribution in diverse fields such as mathematics, astronomy, metallurgy, medical science and surgery, civil engineering and architecture, shipbuilding and navigation, yoga, fine arts and chess, among others, has enriched the body of learning, as a whole. It was due to many such giants and the outstanding education system of the ancient times, that India was known as ‘Vishwa Guru’. The New Education Policy, with an emphasis on education in one’s mother tongue and a host of other path-breaking initiatives built into it, promises to restore India’s role as a ‘Vishwa Guru’.

There is a huge potential for India to become a world leader in various technological domains given the demographic advantage and the presence of highly talented youth in our country. To reach this milestone, we need to go beyond books and explore the experiential method of learning.

The experiential learning approach goes way back in time when in Gurukuls, students were taught by their gurus in a hands-on manner giving them practical experience in an open environment. I feel the experiential method of learning, which helps students think critically and creatively, is the way forward and should be inculcated in our education system.

Dear students and faculty members,

Shivaji College has now entered an important phase in its journey, and I am sure it has already set higher goals and new milestones to accomplish. As the Vice President of India and the Chancellor of this University, I once again congratulate all of you on the completion of the 60th anniversary of your college. Remember, ‘Success shall come to those who persevere’. So keep dreaming and work hard to fulfil your dreams. With these words, I wish your college every success!

May you shine even brighter in the times to come and make the nation proud!

Jai Hind!”