Address by Governor at the foundation – stone laying ceremony of the Prof. Bal Apte Centre in Mumbai
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the foundation – stone laying ceremony of the Prof. Bal Apte Centre for Studies in Students and Youth Movements at Green Technology Building, University of Mumbai, Vidyanagari at 1000 hrs on Monday 19th August 2019
Shri Dattatreya Hosbale Ji, Sah – Sar-karyavah, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Shri Manohar Joshi, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Smt Nirmala Tai Apte, Shri Chandrakant Dada Patil, Hon’ble Minister for Revenue and Public Works, Shri Vinod Tawde, Hon’ble Minister of Higher and Technical Education, Shri Ashish Shelar, Hon’ble Minister of School Education, Sports and Youth Affairs, Dr Suhas Pednekar, Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai, Shri Sunil Ambekar, Rashtriya Sanghatan Mantri, ABVP, Shri Saurabh Vijay, Secretary, Higher and Technical Education, Prof. Ravindra Kulkarni, Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai, distinguished invitees, ladies and gentlemen,
I am indeed happy to associate myself, with the inauguration of the Prof. Bal Apte Centre for Studies in Students and Youth Movements being set up in the University of Mumbai,
As some-one who has had the privilege of knowing Prof. Bal Apte Ji very closely, I think there could not have been a better way to perpetuate his memory, than creating a Centre for Studies, in Students and Youth Movements, in his own Alma Mater.
Prof. Apte Ji was a fine person, finer mind and finest organizer I have met. His commitment and dedication to the ideology of RSS was total.
I understand that the Centre has been established with a view to motivate, and guide young students to join the discourse of development and to bring about a change in society in whatever small way they can.
History shows us, that every generation has been influenced by one successful movement or the other. The nation is celebrating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. In his life, Mahatma Gandhi led various movements to bring about a change in the prevailing conditions in society, in the behaviour of the colonial masters and in changing the mindset of our society towards empowerment of various sections.
All movements in history were invariably led by youths. I am happy that the Centre will recognise the ‘Power of Youth’ for the powerful social movements that transform the course of human history.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are standing at the most critical juncture in history. India will emerge as the youngest nation in the world, with about 65 percent population under 35 years of age. It is expected that by the year 2020, the population of India would have a median age of 29 years which would be at least 8 years younger than the average age of a Chinese or an American.
Youths are indeed the most dynamic and vibrant segments of the population in any country. However they need to be provided the best of education and employable skills. It is also necessary that youths are filled with a strong desire to serve the nation.
With a population of 1.25 billion people, we have been presented with a unique opportunity in the history of the nation. Our youths can provide leadership to the world in all walks of life.
If however, we fail to provide good education and employable skills to our youths, our demographic dividend will turn into a demographic disaster. Demography in itself is a double edged – weapon.
We need constructive movements to channelize the power of youths for the advancement of society, for the progress and development of mankind and the future of our planet.
Maharashtra has been a land of saints and social reformers. The saints and reformers have cast their deepest influence on the socio-cultural ethos of Maharashtra. It is not a coincidence that Maharashtra has provided thought leadership to the nation for several decades.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Social movements are a collective, organized and sustained way, of bringing about a change in the status quo. Many of these changes are directed towards empowering the poor and the downtrodden.
Students and youth movements, in particular, have been the crucial element in the study of social movements.
India has been the epicentre for several social movements that includes, among others, the Dalit and Labour Movements that have informed, shaped and transformed the socio-political landscape of the entire country in numerous ways.
Worldwide, student and youth movements, struggles and agitations have led to major uprisings and revolutions.
Technology has added a new dimension to social movements.
Modern movements, often utilize technology and the internet to mobilize people globally. Adapting to communication trends is a common theme among successful movements.
Research is beginning to explore how advocacy organizations linked to social movements in many advanced countries, use social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action.
In recent years, a wide ranging social and political movements all over the world used the power of technology to rally mass opinion and unrest against authorities.
These developments have put young people in the forefront of change and development. However there appears to be a lack, of focused academic study, of such movements. It is therefore imperative that we have our own dedicated Study Center for conducting academic and research programmes on students and youth movements in India as well as world
It is gratifying to note that Prof. Bal Apte centre for studies in students and youth movement is aimed at the comparative analytical interdisciplinary studies at international level for student movements and youths.
I wish and hope that the aspects related to students shall be studied scientifically and logically for formulating the course. I believe that the research in this institute will help social scientists, policy makers and people interested in social development.
I also wish and hope that the students emerging from this Center will provide leadership to the voiceless millions of society such as scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, minorities, physically and mentally challenged and women in all categories. Our goal should be to create an egalitarian society with respect for all and opportunity for all.
I congratulate the University of Mumbai and wish the Centre success in its endeavours.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !