Address by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President after inaugurating CMR University Campus, in Bengaluru on February 10, 2019.

Bengaluru | February 10, 2019

"I am very happy to be here at the inauguration of the CMR campus in Bengaluru.

I understand that CMR University aims to promote the advancement of graduate and post graduate education in technical, health, management, life sciences and other allied sectors.

It is heartening to note that the university focuses upon research-led teaching and learning in an innovative and interdisciplinary learning environment and aims to create critical thinkers.

I hope that this state of the art campus being inaugurated today will inspire young students to engage in learning activities and creative pursuits.

I congratulate the management, staff and students of the CMR University on this momentous occasion.

My dear young friends,

India has come a long way in terms of educational achievements.

The ancient Indian education emerged from the Vedas. The Vedas are the best expression of an enlightened culture and contain within them, great knowledge and wisdom. The Vedas keep inspiring us eternally to excel and lead fulfilling lives.

The cultural unity that exists even today in the vast subcontinent can largely be attributed to the successful preservation and spread of culture through the robust ancient education system.

India was respected as the Vishwaguru, the seat of wisdom and education in the world, the cradle of one of the most ancient civilizations.

Takshashila, the world’s first university, is said to have offered over 65 streams of education to its students numbering more than 10,000.

Accounts of the massive library housed at the ancient Nalanda University, one of the most accomplished academic and scientific institutions in the world at the time, can be found in the writings of Hiuen Tsang.

Dear Sisters and brothers,

Today India holds an important place in the global education arena. India has one of the largest number of higher education institutions in the world.

We are at a juncture in our history where we cannot continue with sub-optimal efficiency. We need to focus on quality of education.

India has a tremendous demographic dividend that is waiting to be realized. In an ageing world, India has one of the youngest populations. By 2020, the median age in India will be just 28, compared to 37 in China and the US, 45 in Western Europe, and 49 in Japan.

The socio-economic benefits of a demographic dividend are not automatic.

There is mounting concern that future growth could turn out to be jobless due to the fourth industrial revolution and technological progress.

The only way to realize this demographic advantage is to educate and skill this energetic youth populace so that they are well prepared to face the challenges of the 21st Century.

We have to invest more resources and more energy to further strengthen our education system, starting from the roots, from primary, all the way up to post-doctoral education.

We cannot suffer from a wasted development opportunity because of failure to invest in this tremendous human capital.

The government is doing its best through flagship programs like Skill India, Make in India, Start Up India and Stand Up India to skill and train the youth of the country and provide them with education and employment opportunities. Seven new IITs, 7 new IIMs, 2 IISER and 11 new IIITs have been approved in the last four years.

But the Government’s initiative alone might not be sufficient. Educational Institutions and the private sector have to collaborate and work hand in hand with the government to set higher benchmarks for education and training.

We have to keep improving the quality of education delivered and the classrooms have to be transformed into centres of joyful learning.

Good quality education is one of the most potent ways to reduce poverty, achieve gender equality, and create more jobs.

We have to keep innovating our curricula, infrastructure, pedagogy, teaching and examination methodology and our technology tools.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship are going to be the twin engines that propel India to a new era of economic prosperity and social inclusion.

We have to make India the nation with the most favourable environment for innovation and the most attractive destination for enterprise.

This quest for innovation and spirit of scientific thinking will help us tackle and overcome the most pressing problems of the 21st century, from mitigating climate change to cleaner energy, from ensuring better agricultural productivity to water conservation, from combating hunger to efficient waste management.

My dear young friends sitting before me today are students now. But tomorrow, they will be entrepreneurs and industrialists who would lead India forward. I urge you to not forget your roots, your alma mater and your nation.

You are lucky enough to be a part of this institution.

Value this opportunity and make the best of it.

My dear friends,

I strongly believe that employment is not the ultimate aim of education. Education is for improving our competence and becoming confident individuals capable of adapting to different situations as they emerge in life

You should be a lifelong learner especially in today’s world which changes at an incredible pace in unforeseen directions.

As Sri Ramakrishna used to say, ‘As long I live, so long do I learn.’

We have to become intelligent, responsible, empathetic individuals who will maintain our integrity and individuality.

We should be open to constructive criticism and be brave enough to reinvent ourselves when necessary.

We should have the capacity to cooperate, to live and work as a team.

We should have respect for all life and the laws of nature.

These are the essential qualities of an educated person.

We have numerous challenges in our country. They need to be overcome with grit and determination.

Our young people should be able to rise above the narrow boundaries of race, caste, gender, economic status and profession that divide us.

We have to celebrate our country’s infinite diversity and strive to build a new India that breaks free from prejudice, superstition and barriers that hold us back.

We must be citizens of the world with strong Indian roots.

We are a civilization that always believed in peaceful coexistence. We have always embraced different cultures, religions and ways of life and internalized them, making them our own.

For us, the whole world was one large family. Our young people are the inheritors of this great ideal of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. Hence we should empower them to be good citizens of our country but with the competence to lead globally.

I urge all the teachers present here to have abiding faith in the inherent potential of each and every student. But, at the same time, do recognize the fact that they have different capacities of learning and assimilation owing to diverse backgrounds.

A teacher should be able to act as a resource person, a friend, philosopher and guide to his/her students by catering to the students’ diverse needs.

Each moment in the school should be a magical moment where the imagination of each child is allowed to soar, where creativity thrives, where the scientific spirit is kindled, where aesthetic sensitivity is nurtured.

I hope this institution will continue to provide such magical moments that will forever shape young minds and hearts into seekers of excellence in different fields.

Let me once again congratulate CMR University for this new campus. I hope that you will continue to strive to deliver quality, affordable education for many more years to many more youngsters.

I urge my dear young friends present here to push the frontiers of achievement and distinction and keep exploring the unexplored.

I wish all of you the very best in your future endeavours.

Jai Hind!"