We need to re-engineer our entire education system: Vice President

Addressing the 95th Annual Convocation of University of Delhi, the Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu stated that the Universities have responsibility of moulding young people into productive and enlightened citizens. He also called upon the private sector to cross subsidize education for the poor and the needy

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New Delhi: “You have been lucky enough to gain education from this great university. But on this day, spare a thought to those young people who did not get such an opportunity in spite of deserving it. It is upto us to take the benefits of education and the opportunities it opens up to the last mile” the Vice President of India Mr M. Venkaiah Naidu told the graduating students of the University of Delhi. He was addressing the 95th Annual Convocation the University of Delhi.

The Vice President congratulated the University and said that that the vision and mission of the University truly reflected its long term commitment to nation building and an unflinching adherence to universal human values. He added that the motto of the University, ‘Nishtha Dhriti Satyam’, Dedication, Steadfastness and Truth justly reflected its ideals. Congratulating all the graduating students and prize winners, especially the young women, the Vice President appreciated the University’s focus on women’s education.

Mr Naidu observed that India had undertaken a long and arduous, yet rewarding journey in the field of education, from the “Guru –Shishya parampara” of learning under the shadow of a tree in the ancient times, to becoming the third largest in the world in the field of higher education.

The Vice President tasked the Universities of India with the responsibility of moulding young people into productive, enlightened citizens. Reminding everyone that India’s aim is inclusive and sustainable development, the Vice President said that the path to reach this goal had to be paved by the enterprising, intelligent and resourceful youth of the country.

The Vice President expressed his deep concern that the rise in the number of educational institutions in India had not led to corresponding improvement in the quality of education granted in the country. He opined that there was a need to re-engineer our entire education system. He warned that the ‘One size fits all’ approach followed by us so far will not take us anywhere and said that young people should be given the space to think freely. We cannot keep forcing the same syllabus on a student who excels in Science and a student who is a savant in music, he added. He also said that only half the time of a student should be spent in classrooms the rest should be spent in the community, in the playground, in nature and in open air to ensure balanced education.

Mr Naidu urged the students to not let their degrees and mark lists limit themselves. He said that those were just foundations and added that what they built from there, what they chose to be and do in life was totally upto them.

The Vice President said that there was a need to restore India’s ancient glory as a prime destination of quality higher education. India was once known as ‘Vishwaguru’ and ours universities were international centers of excellence, he added. He urged the private sector to play a more active role in meeting the demands of higher education and find ways to cross subsidise the education for the poor and the needy.

The Vice President said that India today stood at the cusp of an incredible demographic dividend, 65% of its population is below 35 years of age. He went on to add that this prospective demographic dividend could rapidly mutate into a demographic challenge if we fail to educate and skill our vast youth population appropriately, if we are unable to exploit their immense potential efficiently.

The Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Mr Satyapal Singh, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Yogesh Tyagi, students, faculty and staff of Delhi University and parents were present at the ceremony.