Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said good quality education must be affordable and accessible to all, and stressed that education is the most powerful catalyst to speed up a country’s development.
Naidu was addressing a gathering on the 69th convocation of the Panjab University here.
”Education of good quality must become accessible to all, be affordable and should lead to a positive transformation in an individual’s outlook, societal cohesion and inclusive national development,” the vice president said.
”There has to be cohesion in the society. This should be taught to students from the beginning itself,” he added, asserting, ”We must always harness the power of education and unleash the creative energies of young minds.” Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattareya, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar were present on the occasion.
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Naidu said education is truly the most powerful catalyst that can change the pace of a country’s development.
”If you really want fast-paced development, you need to educate the country,” he said.
Naidu noted that 65 per cent of the country’s population was below 35 years and 50 per cent below 25 years.
”If we empower, educate, enlighten, and encourage them, they will excel in their lives and make the country excel in the world,” he said.
Universities must be at the forefront of the knowledge revolution through path-breaking innovations and cutting-edge research, Naidu said.
”The ultimate aim of research is to make peoples’ lives better, to make their lives happier. That should be the objective for taking up any research,” he said.
Naidu further said that there should be closer interaction between universities and governments so that robust policies can be formulated.
India was once known as ‘Viswaguru’, he said, adding: ”Students from across the globe used to come and study here. Because of the colonial rule, we lost our momentum, and we are taught in an educational system which is more influenced by colonial rule.” ”Our own contribution, civilisation, traditions and culture have not been given adequate importance in our education,” Naidu stated.
He said the new education policy would take into consideration the need for really making the education system Indian.
”The new education policy has to be understood in its proper spirit, and it should be implemented in letter and spirit. This is the duty of one and all,” the vice president added.
Naidu also emphasized that peace is a prerequisite for progress, and appealed to all the universities in the country to ensure peace is maintained.
”Educational institutions are knowledge-givers, education is not only for a degree, education is for enlightenment, education is for empowerment,” he said, asking the universities not to divert their attention to other issues.