Bhubaneswar: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Saturday attended the 50th Convocation Day of Utkal University in Bhubaneswar.
Calling upon the youths to take inspiration from India’s glorious past, the Vice President urged the youths to imbibe entrepreneurship and innovation. At the same time, he asked the universities and educational institutions to equip the students with 21st century skills so that they can emerge as job creators.
Referring to the event, he said that the day of convocation is an important day in a student’s life and it is the beginning of a journey.
Pointing out what lies in the core of the new education policy, he said it focuses primarily on instilling in our students an ability to ‘face the world with confidence’.
The aim of education is cognitive development as well as building character and creating holistic and well-rounded individuals equipped with the key 21st century skills, he said.
Referring to the legendary Kalinga War, he said that Odisha has a rich and inspiring history. This great land of Kalinga taught the lesson of peace to Emperor Ashoka who began to follow the policy of conquest through dharma (Dharma-Vijaya). The kings of Odisha played an important role in building cross-cultural links with South East Asia and the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism there. The Kalinga Empire was also known for its glorious maritime traditions, the Vice President reminisced.
Speaking about the importance of ‘Bali Yatra’, he said that the people of the state even today celebrate this festival in the memory of their maritime ancestors whose skills and entrepreneurship made Kalinga a prosperous empire of its time.
While speaking about the state’s sizeable tribal population, he said: “A study by Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute (SCSTRTI) revealed that the tribal population in Odisha was largely untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic. The unique customary practices and traditions of tribals have been credited for keeping the infection at bay. The study notes that by habit, the tribals walk mostly in rows, instead of in groups; and while walking, they maintain a reasonable distance from one another. Such safe distancing and hygiene norms, rooted in the tribal culture coupled with the natural food have helped them stay safe during pandemic.”
Laying emphasis on the positive aspects of tribal communities, he suggested the universities focus on the positive aspects of tribal communities and include them in their curriculum.
On this occasion, the Vice President presented the Honoris Causa conferred by Utkal University on five eminent personalities, namely – Shaktikanta Das, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, Girish Chandra Murmu, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Kumari Justice Sanju Panda, Orissa High Court, Dr. Ajit Kumar Mohanty, Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Dr. Bijaya Kumar Sahoo, Advisor, Government of Odisha.
A total of 41 PhD degrees, 90 Gold medals/endowment prizes were awarded this year.