“I am very happy to be here at the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Pannalal Girdharlal Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College, one of the oldest constituent colleges of the top ranking University of Delhi.
In 1886 a college named Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College was started by Mahatma Hans Raj in Lahore. Mahatma Hansraj was a disciple of Swami Dayanand ji who was a great revolutionary and social reformer.
He established the Arya Samaj to free the society from superstitious beliefs prevailing at the time. Mahatma Hans Raj was a great educationist who gave the Dayanand Anglo Vedic College its name.
The name reflected his passion for progressive ideals.
He was a firm believer in nurturing a modern scientific aptitude along with imparting Vedic spiritual learning to the students.
This is the synthesis that we must now emphasize upon. We should be rooted in our native tradition but not be insulated in our outlook.
He wished for youngsters to reach for the stars and expand the horizons of knowledge, all the while upholding the morals and values of our great cultural tradition.
It is heartening to note that the DAV Institutions which made a modest beginning with one college has today expanded and boasts of more than 1000 schools, colleges and institutions of varied disciplines in practically all parts of India.
I am happy to know that the DAV institutions are taking huge strides of progress today under the dynamic and able leadership of Padmashri Sh. Punam Suriji.
I am told that PGDAV college was established in 1958 as Camp College with the noble aim of providing education to the repatriates from Pakistan while they worked to earn a livelihood.
I am happy to note that PGDAV College is rated as one of the best colleges in the University of Delhi.
The endeavour of the college has always been to provide quality education and exposure to help students build a better and fulfilling future. Its aim has been to inculcate a sense of responsibility in youngsters towards the Mother Land and deprived brethren of the society.
I understand that the students are constantly encouraged to think and act positively and contribute significantly towards eradication of evils like drug addiction, alcoholism, casteism etc.
PGDAV College is well-known for excellence not only in academics but also in sports and other co-curricular activities. This holistic view of education needs further reinforcement today.
I am happy to know that the College strives to provide an environment that nurtures qualities of humanism and inculcates values of team work.
In the 60th year of the institutional journey, I congratulate the students, faculty and the management of the PGDAV for their exceptional contributions in the field of collegiate education.
My dear Young friends,
The Years you spend in the portals of this institution are crucial ones. This is your formative phase, the preparative phase before you become active participants in the process of nation building.
I request you to use this time wisely.
I urge you to spend every available moment at your disposal to learn new concepts and do innovative things, to hone your skills and to better yourself.
Soon you will be active members in the world of work. You will contribute to the society and you will make decisions and take initiatives that will decide the future of this country.
I have always been an ardent believer in the power and potential of the youth. It gives me great hope that 65% of our population is below 35 years of age.
I believe that the story of our country will unfold as you grow into active citizens.
I therefore urge you to arm yourself with knowledge, wisdom, moral values and ethical principles before you head out into the world.
The youth of a nation always have the most creative solutions to problems and issues that the nation faces.
I firmly believe that they should be capable of forming their own opinions and attempting the impossible.
I encourage you to creatively explore the unknown. Let innovation be the key driver.
But under no circumstances should you cause disruptions.
Educational institutions should be temples of learning and wisdom, the sanctity of which should always be protected. They should be sanctuaries of peace and harmony, of growth and development.
India is a thriving, vibrant democracy. At the heart of its life and vitality is the commitment to solve issues amicably through peaceful, informed, debates and discussions.
As future legislators, lawmakers and policy planners, I want you to internalize this democratic tradition before you head out into the world.
My dear young friends,
A healthy population is a necessary precondition to progress. Only a healthy nation can be a wealthy nation.
Recent years have seen an exponential increase in the number of chronic diseases due to the disruptive lifestyle changes in the country.
Lack of exercise, irregular eating habits including consumption of unhealthy food and increase in stress are some of the key reasons behind this worrisome trend.
Scientists have named this collection of lifestyle diseases caused due to increased mental exertion and decreased physical activity as the ‘New Age Syndrome’ (NWS).
It is a basket of maladies including obesity, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and shortened life span.
What is even more appalling is that children and young adults are increasingly falling prey to these diseases.
It has been estimated that nearly 30% of India’s teenagers are obese.
I urge all the young people present here to focus on your health and be physically fit. Along with studies, take part in sports and play games.
On many occasions I myself have spoken about the benefits of Yoga for mind and body. Yoga does wonders to relieve stress and cope with depression and anxiety. The world is celebrating Yoga today.
I urge you to practice and propagate this great tradition of ours.
Martin Luther King once remarked that ‘the function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.’
Character building is the essential dharma of education, what Swami Vivekananda called ‘Man making’ or ‘realizing the potential in each of us’.
In order to build character, one must learn to look outside the four walls of the classroom. Only half of a student’s time should be spent in the classrooms. The other half should be spent outside, in the service of the community.
We have examples of the transformation brought about by students in social revolutions such as the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ by serving as ambassadors and change agents.
Serving in organizations like the Scouts and guides or NCC should be made mandatory for every student to inculcate discipline and a sense of willingness to serve the needy.
My dear young friends,
We live in a world that is pervaded by technology and social media.
The world is now in need of constant connectivity and this tendency is proving highly detrimental to children, teenagers and adolescents.
The dangers posed by this constant connectivity range from cyber bulling to data theft to impersonation to financial fraud.
Young people should be allowed only a limited amount of screen time, whether it be smart phones or computers. Technology is beneficial to us only if used intelligently, judiciously and cautiously.
Parents at home and teachers in schools and colleges should forever be alert to protect our youngsters from pitfalls of technology and internet.
We should never let virtual conversations and relationships destroy their real counterparts.
Dear sisters and brothers,
India is on a growth trajectory.
Its economy is stable, its democracy is vibrant and its society is youthful and brimming with energy.
As the world economy is slowing down, India is maintaining a steady GDP growth rate of over 7%. All macroeconomic indicators signal a healthy trend of growth.
India has registered the fastest growth in FDI in over two decades. The FDI inflows into India were to the tune of $38 billion in 2018, overtaking China and evolving as the favorite destination in emerging markets.
India also accounts for about 15% of global growth.
India has also steadily ascended the Ease of Doing Business Index to reach the 77th position among 190 countries.
The size of the Indian economy is expected to touch $10 trillion by 2030.
All this speaks for the reform oriented policies of the government of India.
In a bleak world economy, India is definitely the bright spot.
World nations and investors from around the globe are looking to do business with India with increased enthusiasm.
India has also witnessed a digital revolution in the recent times which has helped in simplifying processes and procedures and in easing bottlenecks.
I urge each and every one of you to take account of the infinite possibilities that this India that is on the move offers.
Utilize in full measure everything that this emergent India has to offer for you own personal growth and for the growth of the country.
Be entrepreneurs, builders, business persons, educationists and innovators. Be whoever you are dreaming of becoming.
The India of today will support your dreams and your enterprises in every way possible.
After all, India is home to the second largest start-up ecosystem in the world.
My dear young friends,
What you're learning here today will determine whether we can build a better India and a better world.
I have full faith in your abilities, your conviction and your intentions.
You need to work hard, work smart and work with a moral compass in hand.
You must strive to combine knowledge with wisdom.
I once again wish the PGDAV College, its faculty and students all the very best on this momentous occasion.
May you have a bright future and in turn shape a better tomorrow for our motherland and for the world.