Address by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President of India at the Silver Jubilee Convocation of Siva Sivani Institute of Management, in Hyderabad on February 27, 2018.

Hyderabad | February 27, 2018

"I am immensely happy to address the Silver Jubilee convocation of Siva Sivani Institute of Management.

At the outset, let me congratulate students who are getting their Post-Graduation certificates at this convocation. Let me also convey my best wishes to all other students, the management, faculty and others associated with this group, which is imparting education from KG to PG. I wholeheartedly appreciate the group and its members for their untiring efforts in continuing their mission.

Dear students, those of you graduating today are starting a new chapter in your lives. Some of you might opt to pursue further studies and others might take up employment or even try to be self-employed. My best wishes to all of you in your future endeavours.

Remember that education does not end with the acquisition of a degree or post-graduation certificate. Education is a life-long learning process in which every experience teaches something new. Therefore, the present-day formal education should make the students acquire new life skills, enable them to innovate and think out-of-the box to face a globalized and competitive world.

“Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man” said Swami Vivekananda. It should lay the foundation for a strong character. The education system must help students to become good, compassionate and caring human beings with a sense of empathy. It must inculcate strong ethical and moral values and infuse the spirit of nationalism and patriotism among students.

I feel that the education system from school level to higher education should be completely overhauled to ensure that our institutions churn out ideal citizens. First and foremost, the syllabus at the school level has to be drastically cut to reduce the load on students. The time spent by students in school should be divided equally between the classroom and play field. Participation in sports and other extra-curricular activities, including gardening and crafts will help to develop students into good socially-conscious citizens.

Like in the past, regular physical exercises, drills and lessons on moral science should become part of the syllabus in schools to ensure that children develop into complete human beings.

What is happening of late is a matter of grave concern for all of us. We are regularly coming across instances of juveniles committing crimes, even heinous ones at times. The time has come for us to go back to our roots. The study of Indian culture, civilization and history is essential for the students to develop a proper understanding and perspective on our glorious past. Our culture always taught us to respect women, elders, teachers, nature and animals.

In the wake of technological advances and digital revolution, rapid and fast-paced changes are taking place in the world. The students coming out of institutes of higher learning must be equipped to deal with new and emerging situations in an innovative and practical manner.

For this to happen, the curricula and teaching methods should be re-oriented and made relevant to the requirements of the digital age. The policy-makers, educationists, vice-chancellors and other stakeholders in the educational field should consider revamping the system. Rote method of learning should not be the basis to test students’ skills and knowledge.

Students coming out of the portals of higher learning should be well-rounded individuals with ability to think creatively, critically and innovatively. They should also be adept at multi-tasking. Universities and colleges should compete with each other in promoting academic excellence and innovation. The academic atmosphere on campuses should not be allowed to be vitiated or disrupted by activities which are detrimental to students’ interests.

Advancement in technology and the spread of internet have opened up new avenues to provide formal education. We must take advantage of the mobile revolution in our country and encourage people to access information on their mobiles. Internet platforms and several apps are already being used to impart education. This must be accelerated to reach out sizable youth population live in rural and remote areas of our nation.

Dear students, education is not merely for employment. It is meant for enlightenment and empowerment.

Educational institutions must include activities like gardening, outdoor sports, craft and art in their curriculum for the overall development of students.

India is a young nation with 65 per cent of the population below the age of 35 years. We have one of the largest higher education systems in the world with lakhs of students passing out each year. And the need of the hour is to take advantage of this vast educated, youth force and convert it into a “demographic dividend” to accelerate the country’s economic growth.

Knowledge will be the major determinant in the global distribution of power in 21st century and India will has vast scope to bank on its demographic dividend. The young population will have to be provided with the required skill-sets to tap self-employment opportunities as jobs for all cannot be provided in the government sector.

Dear students, all of you are entering a new exciting phase of your careers. Have clear-cut goals, dream big and achieve them through commitment, passion, dedication, discipline and perseverance. India was once known as “Vishwaguru” with knowledge-seekers from all over the world flocking to our ancient universities. We have to make India the global knowledge centre once again. India must become the repository of science, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and business.

Dear students, as you all are from management background, it is important for you to be familiar with ethical business practices. Ethics should permeate every sphere of business activity—from selling products to dealing with environmental protection. I am glad that many corporate are taking up various developmental and welfare activities under Corporate Social Responsibility.

Dear students, India is a vibrant, multi-cultural, pluralistic country where people of all faiths and religions have been living in peace and perfect harmony. All of you should strive to preserve our age-old cultural heritage, practices, values and customs. Irrespective of the position you hold in future, never ignore or forget your parents, mother tongue, place of birth, motherland and the teachers, who taught you and shaped your personality.

My best wishes to the outgoing class of 2017, the management and faculty.