PM addresses the Convocation Ceremony of Visva-Bharati University
NewDelhi:The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the Convocation Ceremony of Visva-Bharati University today through a video conference. Governor of West Bengal and Rector of Visva-Bharati, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and MoS for Education Shri Sanjay Dhotre were also present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister while addressing the convocation quoted the poem of Gurudev Ravindra Nath Tagore on Veer Shivaji which inspired him and called for unity of India. PM stressed that the students and the faculty were not just a part of a university, but also bearers of a vibrant tradition. He said Gurudev named the University as Visva Bharati meaning Global University since he expected that anyone who comes to learn in Visva Bharati will see the whole world from the point of view of India and Indianness. So he made Visva Bharati such a place to learn, which can be seen in the rich heritage of India. He gave a call for assimilating and researching about the Indian heritage and working towards solving the problems of the poorest of the poor. He said Visva Bharati for Gurudev Tagore was not just a knowledge imparting institution but an attempt to reach the topmost goal of Indian culture, which is to achieve oneself.
The Prime Minister said Gurudev believed that we have to discover ourselves among the varied Ideologies and differences. PM said that Tagore used to be proud of Bengal but at the same time, he was equally proud of India’s diversity. And it was due to Gurudev’s vision that humanity thrives under the open sky of Santiniketan. He praised Visva Bharati as an unending sea of knowledge in itself, the foundation of which was laid for experience-based education. He said there is no limit to creativity and knowledge. It was with this thought that Gurudev founded this great university. PM urged the students to always remember that knowledge, thought and skill are not static but a dynamic and continuous process. He said responsibility comes with knowledge and power. Just as one has to be restrained and sensitive while in power, every scholar also has to be responsible towards those who do not have knowledge.
Recalling the historical strength of the traditional Indian education system, the Prime Minister referred to Gandhian Shri Dharampal’s book ‘The Beautiful Tree- Indigenous Indian Education in the Eighteenth Century’. He said that the 1820 survey had said that there was more than one gurukul in every village which were linked with the local temples and literacy rate was estimated to be very high. This was recognized by the British scholars also. Shri Modi said, Gurudev Ravindranath developed systems in Visva Bharti which were the medium of modernising Indian education and freeing it from the shackles of slavery.
Similarly, the new National Education Policy also breaks old restrictions and allows students to realize their full potential. It allows flexibility in selection of subjects and medium of instruction. The policy promotes entrepreneurship and self employment; research and innovation. ‘This education policy is a major milestone in the making of an Aatmnirbhar Bharat’, said the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister informed that scholars have recently been given free access to lakhs of journals by the Government. This year’s budget has proposed 50 thousand crore in 5 years for research through the National Research Foundation. This Education Policy has made provision for the Gender Inclusion Fund that will give the girls new confidence. Higher dropout rate of girls was deeply studied and arrangements were made for entry-exit options and yearly credit in the degree courses.
Calling Bengal inspiration for Ek Bharat-Shreshth Bharat, the Prime Minister said that Visva Bharati will play a big role in the 21st century knowledge economy, taking Indian knowledge and identity to every corner of the world. Shri Modi called upon the students of the prestigious institute to prepare a vision document for next 25 years about the 25 biggest goals of Visva Bharati in 2047. The Prime Minister asked the students to spread awareness about India. Visva Bharati should lead all educational institutions to carry India’s message and enhance India’s image globally. The Prime Minister concluded by calling upon the students to find ways to make nearby villages Aatmnirbhar and taking their products globally.
Union Education Minister appreciated the academic activities that Visva-Bharati has undertaken during the COVIND 19 pandemic. The Minister dwelled in detail on the New Education Policy which, he also mentioned, is based on Gurudev’s idea of Education. He also suggested that Visva-Bharati is capable of taking lead in imparting learning as per the directions that the NEP has provided. In order to accomplish the goal, Shri Pokhriyal insisted on creating an effective task force by bringing together academic faculties from various fields. Speaking on the decision to create a new Visva-Bharati campus at Ramgarh, Uttarakhand, he informed that steps in this direction have already been taken.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Dhotre congratulated the passing out students and extended his best wishes for the future endeavours. On New Education Policy, he said it has adopted a multidisciplinary approach, emphasises on early childhood care and education and imparting learning in the local language, vocational education and focus on research and innovation. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, this policy will make India the global knowledge superpower of 21st century.
The Rector and Governor of West Bengal, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar expressed his happiness by being part of this convocation at Amrakunja which has footsteps of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. He admired the strong leadership that the Prime Minister has been providing to come out the crisis that has emerged due to the pandemic. In his address, he also appreciated the role of the Union Education Minister and his colleagues in bringing out a New Education Policy for the country.