Universities should focus more on academic enhancement, avoid politics, controversies: Venkaiah Naidu
The vice president urged youths to adhere to the country's tradition of tolerance and respect and protect its pluralistic culture, while empowering themselves the right skills and attitude.
CHANDIGARH: Cautioning all universities in the country to shun politics and controversies, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Sunday urged them to strive to emerge as centres of excellence to make India 'vishvaguru' again.
The vice president also urged youths to adhere to the country's tradition of tolerance and respect and protect its pluralistic culture, while empowering themselves the right skills and attitude.
"If you look at the history, you had Aryabhata, Bhaskaracharya and so many great people who were there because India was a knowledge centre and knowledge giver.
Now we must aim to become once again 'vishwaguru' that is the centre of excellence," said Vice President Naidu Sunday in his 68th convocation address to Panjab University.
"That is possible if universities focus more on academic enhancement. Not on other issues. Not on politics. Not on controversies," added Naidu, who is also the chancellor of the University.
"Universities should not get into controversies at all. The only aim of university is to work hard, aim high and take the country forward. That is the first purpose of the university," said Naidu.
Noting that building an institution is not an easy task and it requires vision, passion and commitment, Vice President said nothing should be done which could sully the image of university.
Naidu also called upon youths to shoulder greater social responsibility.
"There is a need to exercise judgement in looking at social issues and be part of the traditions of tolerance and respect that are characteristics of our pluralistic culture," he said.
Lauding the contribution of Panjab University in the field of education, the vice president said, "Panjab University has a glorious past and is one of the oldest universities in India, set in a land which has witnessed centuries of dedication to spreading knowledge in ancient centres of learning like Takshila."
In his 45-minute address, the vice president at the Panjab University's "quest for academic excellence and the rapid progress it has made in providing quality education" to its 15,000 students enrolled in about 200 affiliated colleges, three regional centres, six constituent colleges and one rural centre.
Naidu also emphasized that educational institutions should identify the talent of youth and then upgrade their skills.
"Some talent is there in everybody. What is required is to understand that talent and you have to identify the talent and upgrade skills. That is the purpose of the universities, IITs, IIMs and all other technical universities. Upgrading the skills which are already there," he noted.
"All of you are partners in the progress of this institution and everybody should focus on that. Not on other issues. Senate and syndicate (of PU) should focus more on academic activity not on other things," he said.
On the occasion, Indian Space Research Organisation chairman, Dr K Sivan, was given 'Vigyan Rattan' award.
Naidu stated that India's future would be powered by the dreams and ambitions, the character and competence of young people.
"If we can empower our youth with the right skills and attitudes, we will be able to fully realize the vast demographic dividend in the years to come. That is indeed a big challenge before the country today," he said.
He further said youth must be fully equipped to face the challenges of the 21st century with confidence and contribute to the shaping of a new world.
Observing that access to higher education has been improved considerably in our country, Naidu said, "We have to focus upon raising the quality of education and ensure that we offer the best possible education to our young people."
On this occasion, Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore and PU Vice Chancellor Raj Kumar were also present.