Rajya Sabha member and president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Dr Karan Singh called upon youngsters to build a capacity for learning for life.
Speaking at VIT University’s sports day function on Monday, he said, “As builders of new India, you must first build yourselves so that you emerge stronger physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.”
“Treat your body as a temple of divinity, do not poison it with alcohol and tobacco; do not spoil your mind with negative thoughts, which are as lethal as deadly weapons,” he advised them.
Quoting verses from the Vedas, Karan Singh pointed out that multiplicity was the basis of Indian culture and tradition. Youngsters should shun negativism, hatred and anger, he said. “India should emerge as a guru for the entire world and you must work towards achieving it by transmitting values to the society,” he told students.
Describing engineering as a cutting-edge technology that had changed lifestyles besides making the world a global village by uniting the human race, he said, “The fruits of this technological innovations must benefit the society.” Educational institutions should contribute in this regard, he added. Singh also handed over medals and awards to rank holders and sports scholarships to the students on the occasion.
Krishna Gaur, Mayor of Bhopal, in her address, urged the student community to follow the three principles of hard work, sacrifice and positive outlook to achieve goals in life. Madhya Pradesh Minister for Urban Development Babulal Gaur stressed on the need for youngsters to acquire moral values and wisdom to make India a super power.
VIT chancellor G Viswanathan appealed to the government to amend the constitution to make higher education mandatory for all, till the age of 23. “If we want to take advantage of the high population of youth in India, we need to focus on providing quality higher education to them,” he reasoned.
VIT had taken the lead in providing higher education opportunities for all eligible students in Vellore district by the end of the 12th five year plan through a trust formed in this regard, he said. “We would try to push the Gross Enrolment Ratio here to 90 per cent, which would be extended to other parts of the country gradually,” he added.
As many as 1,006 students received awards, medals and citations while 339 students got awards for hundred per cent attendance, 96 students received merit scholarships and sports scholarships.