Address by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President of India after inaugurating the IILM University Gurugram Campus from IILM Lodhi Road Campus, New Delhi on April 20, 2018.

New Delhi | April 20, 2018

“I am extremely delighted to inaugurate IILM University. My best wishes to everyone associated with this institution.

I am also glad to know that the university’s mission is in sync with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create a New India on the basis of inclusive economic development through education and skill development among students.

I am sure that IILM University is going to make an important contribution in realizing the dream of an educated and skilled India.

However, it should be remembered that the education of an individual does not end by merely acquiring degrees or employable skills. Education is meant to develop a holistic personality with qualities of head and heart. As Swami Vivekananda had said “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man”.

Education should not only prepare our youth to face challenges of a technologically-driven knowledge society, but also make them analyze critically and come out with innovative solutions to the problems faced by people. They should be confident of dreaming big and exploring uncharted territories.

At the same time, students should remain rooted to our culture, traditions, customs and history. They should never neglect their parents, mother tongue, motherland and native village. They should always believe in co-existing harmoniously with nature for a better future.

There is a need to revamp and reorient the higher education system in the country to equip students with the demands of knowledge-driven world. While, there are more than 800 universities in the country, it is a matter of concern that none of them figures in the top ranked global institutes. Merely expanding infrastructure with sleek-looking buildings will not make an institution excellent unless it imparts education of highest standards without compromising on quality.

Our universities should move in that direction by making necessary changes in the methods of pedagogy.

I am glad to learn that the Vision of this University is to be Global, Inclusive and Responsible. Indian civilization has always considered the world as its family (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam). Our commitment to the cause of climate change, solar energy and conserving nature, will hopefully, get reflected in educating students and making them globally responsible citizens. Mahatma Gandhi was foremost proponent of this philosophy of being responsible. His seven sins -Wealth without Work, Pleasure without Conscience, Knowledge without Character, Commerce without Morality, Science without Humanity, Religion without Sacrifice and Politics without Principle – are a guiding principle for shaping the ethical ethos of individuals, society, country and the world.

I hope the university will try to inculcate such values. The university has to be inclusive given India’s diversity and inequality. While diversity is our strength, the huge inequality poses lots of challenges. Focus on entrepreneurship, technology and skill development will help develop an inclusive, just and equal society.

Today’s world is becoming increasingly knowledge-centric and interdependent. To get a holistic perspective liberal and interdisciplinary education is must. I am glad to know that University intends to pursue this objective with vigor. Education in silos will not equip students for future. Liberal education with focus on technology, skill development and entrepreneurship will serve well the students, industry and the society.

Information technology coupled with various scientific advances is changing our lives like never before. Therefore, the focus should be on futuristic technologies and students need to be prepared for jobs which do not exist. I am happy to know that students doing a major in fashion or design or economics can also study Artificial Intelligence or robotics at IILM University. We need more and more such multi-disciplinary and multi-skilled youngsters to meet future challenges.

I am happy that you already started an Incubation Center. Entrepreneurship is the need of the hour. Students must be motivated to start their own businesses and not depend on jobs alone. India is a land of entrepreneurs and given the right opportunity our youngsters can excel and create global businesses. With about 65 percent of our population aged below 35 years, we need to take full advantage of this demographic dividend in building a prosperous and inclusive New India and educational institutions like IILM have a pivotal role to play in achieving that goal.

I am pleased to note that IILM has been part of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative since its inception in 2008. The University’s focus on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity), and working closely with the UN Global Compact India will allow it to be a responsible provider of higher education

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, India’s first Vice President, famously said “The true teachers are those who help us think for ourselves”. I hope the university will have such teachers and researchers and it will also create such future teachers which we need in vast numbers.

I wish the university well and may it rise to greater heights in achieving academic excellence.