New Delhi [India], November 18 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday addressed the fourth convocation ceremony of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) via video conference.
He told students that they were privileged to be a part of one of the most diverse, vibrant and intellectual communities adding that they were lucky to be guided by some of the greatest minds.
"I appreciate every person associated with JNU for setting high standards in various academic domains ranging from social sciences to technology. Both teaching and research here, have made an impact in the world of academics," the President said.
He also referred to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and minister of external affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who were both former students of JNU.
"It must be a matter of pride for students of the University that India's Finance Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of External Affairs Dr S. Jaishankar are former students of JNU. From among the over 80,000 former students of JNU, many have been making their impact in India and abroad through contribution in the Civil Services, academia, politics, social work, science and technology, media and communications, fine arts and business-leadership," he said.
The president also congratulated the University for receiving the highest National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) accreditation status this year.
"It gives me pleasure to note that JNU has received the highest-ranking grade from National Assessment and Accreditation Council. It is consistently ranked number 2 among all the Universities under the National Institutional Ranking Framework of the Government of India," he said
Ram Nath Kovind also highlighted the establishment of new schools and centres at university. "In context of holistic education, I'm told that JNU is taking steps to establish centres in new fields of study aiming to provide skill development and employability of youth. This will enable to creating knowledge-based enterprises, contributing to our economy," the President added.
JNU is primarily a research-oriented university and with the establishment of new schools and centres during the last couple of years, such as School of Engineering and Atal Bihari Vajpayee School of Management and Entrepreneurship, Special Centre of Disaster Studies, Special Centre for National Security Studies and Special Centre for Study of North East India, the number of PhD degrees will further increase in the coming years.
Quoting Swami Vivekananda, the President said, "Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested, all your life. We must have life-building, man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas. If you have accumulated five ideas and made them your life and character, you have more education than any man who has got by heart a whole library..."
"The statue of Swami Vivekananda installed in the JNU campus which was recently unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi keep reminding the students of the practice of the universal ideas by Swamiji," Ram Nath Kovind added.
"Universities like JNU should be at the forefront to develop specific handholding mechanism and promote innovation among students communities," President said.
He noted that that students from all parts of India and from all strata of society study here in an atmosphere of equal opportunity for excellence. "Students aspiring for very different career paths come together in JNU.The University represents blending of inclusion, diversity and excellence," he said.
In dealing with present-day challenges, one can draw inspiration from the ancient universities of Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramshila and Vallabhi which had set high standards of teaching and research, the President said.
Scholars and students from all across the world came to those centres to attain specialised knowledge or 'Vigyan'. That ancient system, which had many elements of modernity, produced great scholars such as Charaka, Aryabhata, Chanakya, Panini, Patanjali, Gargi, Maitreyi and Thiruvalluvar. They made invaluable contributions to medical science, mathematics, astronomy, grammar and social development.
People from other parts of the world translated the works of Indian scholars and used the learning for further advancement of knowledge. Today's Indian scholars should try to create such an original body of knowledge which is utilised for dealing with contemporary global challenges. JNU is among those select institutions of higher learning which can reach globally comparable excellence, the President said.
Over 600 PhD degrees were conferred during the convocation. The JNU convocation 2020 conducted online in the virtual mode keeping in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. JNU reintroduced the convocation ceremony after more than four decades with the second convocation in 2018 followed by the third convocation in 2019. (ANI)