Address at the inauguration of ‘Avishkar’ hosted by the Savitribai Phule Pune University
Address by Shri CH Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the inauguration of ‘Avishkar’- the 10th Maharashtra State Inter – University Research Convention hosted by the Savitribai Phule Pune University at Chandrashekhar Auditorium, IUCCA, University Campus, Pune 411007 at 11.00 am on Sunday, 10th January 2016
Dr W N Gade, Vice Chancellor, Savitribai Phule University of Pune, Dr Anand Deshpande, Founder Chairman and Managing Director, Persistent Systems, Dr V B Gaikwad, Convenor, Avishkar, Dr Narendra Kadu, Registrar, Organizing Secretary, invitees, members of faculty, participants, researchers, students, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning and a Very Happy New Year to each one of you.
I am delighted to associate myself with the 10th edition of the Maharashtra Inter University Research Convention, Avishkar. I was pleased to see the works of some of you that have been displayed here.
I am glad to note that a series of intellectually stimulating activities including Display of Posters and Models, Oral Presentation, Guest Lectures and cultural programmes have been organized during the next three days.
I understand that students from 20 Universities in Maharashtra are participating in this Convention. I congratulate every student who has been selected to represent his or her University and College at this event. I do hope you will make your University proud with your achievements.
The Savitribai Phule Pune University is one of the most prestigious institutions in the entire country. It is the intellectual powerhouse of the country. The University has produced a large number of distinguished alumni, patriots, freedom fighters and thought-leaders in different walks of life.
As Chancellor, I feel proud to note that the University has become one of the most favoured destinations for students from various countries of the world.
I congratulate the University for being selected to host the 10th edition of Avishkar and convey my felicitations to Vice Chancellor Dr Wasudeo Gade, the Convenor of the Festival and the entire Organizing Committee for their unstinted efforts.
The Inter University Research Convention was started at the instance of the Governor’s office. I have therefore special affinity towards this event. It is gratifying to see Avishakar growing in stature and emerging as a platform of thinking minds.
Avishkar has encouraged and impelled participants to think differently, made them search and research a subject or a topic, consult various teachers, explore various sources and finally present their creativity and ideas. This is a rewarding experience in itself. I want you to maintain this tradition of robust intellectual pursuit.
One of the greatest attributes which we have inherited as human beings is an inquisitive mind and curiosity.
It is this curiosity that makes a child to ask questions. It is this curiosity which made Indians leaders in various disciplines in the past.
Indians were masters of imagination. India gave the world the concept of zero. India gave the world Ayurveda and Yoga. Bhaskaracharya calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the sun much before anyone could do that.
India in those days played a dominant role in the higher education system and we had renowned seats of learning like Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramashila, Somapura and others.
Hu Shih, former Ambassador of China to USA had famously said, and I quote: “Many of the advances in the sciences that we consider today, to have been made in Europe, were in fact made in India centuries ago.” (unquote).
That was our intellectual strength. India now has to work towards regaining that glory of the past.
You are living in an era when India is all set to arrive on the global stage. This is the most exciting time to live and to pursue higher education.
The biggest advantage we enjoy among nations of the world is our youthful population.
By the year 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, which is 8 years younger than the average age of a Chinese or an American. Needless to say, you are the real strength of India.
The second biggest strength that we have today is our higher education system.
India has one of the world’s largest higher education system comprising 712 universities and over 36,000 colleges. The expansion of higher education network in India has enabled us to create access to higher education across the country.
However, the quality of education in our institutions of higher learning remains a big challenge.
Until recently none of our universities featured among the top universities in the world. I am happy that recently, two Indian institutions have been ranked amongst the top 200 universities in the world.
Having said that, there are many higher education institutions in Maharashtra alone, including this University, that have the potential to become one of the best in the world.
Our universities, however, will need to lay considerable emphasis on quality research that is recognized globally.
Teaching remains an area of concern. Apart from conducting research, our universities and colleges will have to associate high quality faculty members, visiting faculties from Industry, academia and research institutions from across the world. In the years to come, institutions that neglect the area of teaching will lose their relevance.
We will, of course, need students like all of you who have the appetite for research and innovation. This will transform our universities into ‘Smart Universities’.
The world is expecting India to play a leading role in the emerging scenario. At this juncture, we also need a young band of enterpreneurs who will conquer global markets. We do not want job seekers; India now needs job creators.
Today you don’t need family background to become an enterpreneur. All you need is an idea and courage to sell the idea to the world. Many people are willing to invest in start-up ventures. Business leader Ratan Tata has openly expressed his willingness to invest in start-up companies that are embodiment of creativity and innovation of young India.
I foresee a possibility when India will become the top start up nation in the world. This phenomenon will be charted by the youths of India. I want some of you to join this revolution to transform India.
The Government of India has launched various ambitious initiatives like Make in India, Digital India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India Mission and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. These schemes have the potential to transform India and empower and enrich our communities.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister is launching the Start Up India, Stand Up India scheme on 16th of this month to provide a major boost to entrepreneurship. The success of these programmes depends on your participation and your genius to discover and innovate.
India of my generation lived in Developing India. But, I am sure, people of your generation will live in Developed India. You have my best wishes in your future endeavours.
I congratulate all the young innovators comprising students, researchers and teachers for their creative ideas. I am sure, some of these ideas will take definitive shape and prove beneficial to our society.
I congratulate the Savitribai Phule University once again for its efforts in hosting the Avishkar Convention and wish you a memorable event.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!