New Delhi, Sept 28 (FN Agency) Education is the most potent means for social transformation and our universities have to play the role of change agents, said President Droupadi Murmu. Speaking at the inaugural function of St Joseph’s University here on Tuesday, the President said that it is the responsibility of educational institutions to train and equip the students in such a way that they are prepared for the demands of the future.She said that today’s young people are aspirational and the universities need to respond to their diverse aspirations. “For this, out-of-the-box thinking is needed. Such thinking may lead to rich learning experiences and creative solutions,” she said. Murmu said that the National Education Policy 2020 is one such effort to make the academics align with the changing needs. It also emphasizes critical thinking and innovation, she said. According to NEP, education is more about critical thinking and less about rote learning. The President said that the world today is full of immense opportunities for the younger generation. However, the skills needed in the modern world are multi-dimensional. The approach of working and studying in silos will not be effective. It has to be a multi-disciplinary approach in order to fulfill the emerging demands, she said.In addition to science and mathematics, a well-rounded curriculum should also include arts and crafts, humanities, sports and fitness, languages and literature, culture and values, Murmu said. Such an integrated curriculum will help develop all-round capabilities among the students, she said.
The President expressed confidence that St Joseph’s University will cater to the aspirations of the students through its various specialized schools. Pointing to the fact that India will have the highest population of young people in the world over the next decades, Murmu said that the ability to provide high-quality educational opportunities to them will determine their future and the future of our country. She said that many students look towards the West for higher learning and research, but efforts should be made to make Indian universities globally competitive so that the Indian students get opportunities all over the world. She noted that many Indian institutions have earned a place in international rankings but their number is very small. She said that it should be the aim of every Indian educational institution to become a world class centre of learning. Later in the evening, Murmu attended a civic reception hosted in her honour by the Karnataka government at Vidhana Soudha. Addressing the gathering, Murmu recalled Karnataka’s contributions in freedom struggle, spirituality, philosophy, literature, music, art, science, architecture etc. She said that the ruins of Hampi and places like Aihole, Pattadakal, Badami, Beluru, Halebeedu, Somanathapura and Mysuru are excellent heritage sites of Indian art and culture.
The President said that just as the fragrance of sandalwood of Karnataka infuses the whole country and world, similarly the sweet nature of the people of Karnataka is appreciated all over the country and world. The Kannadiga people have set the ideal of being peace-loving, generous and affectionate, she stated. The President said that Karnataka has played a leading role in modern industrial development. It is a leading state in many fields like bio-technology, heavy engineering, aviation, research and development, space-science and technology, she said. Karnataka is making an invaluable contribution as a leading education and research-hub of India, Murmu said. For enhancing India’s reputation in Information Technology, a lot of credit goes to Karnataka, especially Bengaluru, the Silicon City of India, Murmu said. The President said that the visionary politicians, business leaders and entrepreneurs of Karnataka have developed a very good eco-system for industrial development especially for startups.She expressed confidence that Karnataka would play a major role in making India a five trillion dollar economy.