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India should once again become Vishwa Guru and hub of innovation and knowledge: Vice President

The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today called upon for making India Vishwa Guru and the hub of innovation and knowledge once again. “There was a time when India was known as the Vishwa Guru and students from distant countries came for education here”, he said adding that steps must be taken to bring back that past glory. Shri Naidu also stressed the need to reorient the modern education system to make it suitable to the 21st-century requirements.

Speaking at the first convocation of SRM University, Delhi NCR, in New Delhi today, the Vice President asked the youth to become agents of change and come out with innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by mankind. The youth should strive to build a New India, which was free of poverty, illiteracy, fear, corruption, hunger and discrimination, he said and urged them to play a key role in addressing important issues such as climate change and degradation of natural resources.

Expressing concern over the ill-effects of global warming and climate change, the Vice President stressed the need to avoid reckless exploitation of nature and excessive consumption.

“Sustainability has to be the new mantra. ‘Balance’ is at the heart of sustainability. And that ‘balance’ in all spheres starting with physical well – being is what yoga is all about,” he said.

The Vice President asked the younger generation to embrace nature and learn to live with it, without spoiling it. “We are only trustees of this planet and we must pass it on to future generations in all its pristine and natural splendor,” he added.

Cautioning the youth to be aware of the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the Vice President opined that there was an urgent need to promote healthy lifestyles and food habits to combat the incidence of non-communicable diseases in the country. The Vice President advised the youth to take an active part in games and sports to stay fit and healthy.

In this aspect, he lauded the Fit India campaign initiated by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and said that such campaigns must take the form of national movements involving everybody, especially youngsters. ‘Fit India is apt, timely and most needed,’ he added.

The Vice President said that integration of India’s traditional knowledge base and modern educational system was important to provide a holistic education. He said that the education system rooted in ethics and Indian values was the need of the hour, especially at a time when India was making progress towards building a knowledge-based society.

Shri Naidu further stated that students must be made aware of the great heritage, culture, and traditions of our country, and that they must learn to treat fellow human beings with respect. The Vice President stressed that education must help them to transform into responsible human beings.

“Apart from remoulding the syllabi and pedagogy, the stress should be on learning-by-doing,” he said.

The Vice President suggested a complete overhaul of the higher education system to transform Universities and colleges into centers of excellence. He wanted higher educational institutions to embrace advancements in technology, change teaching methods according to the needs of the modern requirements and create an environment for innovation to thrive.

Observing that India’s quest to make it a global knowledge hub would be meaningless if it fails to provide the necessary infrastructure for quality higher education in rural areas, the Vice President wanted the government and the private sector to come together work towards bridging the urban-rural divide in higher education and skilling by providing affordable education.

Here, the Vice President advised them to make good use of the increased internet penetration in rural areas and empower rural youth to stand on their own feet.

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