Higher Education a Privilege, not Available to Many, Says President Kovind
Noting that higher education is a privilege not available to many individuals in India, President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday spoke to graduates to help improve the state of such underprivileged fellow citizens.
Ramnath Kovind in North Eastern Hill University
Kovind, who tended to the 26th annual convocation of North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) here, likewise asked the students to offer back to the general public in the manner they can.
Calling upon the stakeholders to concentrate on University Social Responsibility’ (USR), the President stated, “So as to satisfy USR obligations, students of this college may invest energy at certain towns and furthermore remain the night, in the event that it is workable. They (students) should enable the townspeople to manage their problems.”
“They may make the villagers aware about the importance of sanitation, literacy, vaccination and nutrition of children. This exposure will not only help the villagers but also make the students more aware and sensitive to ground realities,”
He told the new graduates.
Expressing that NEHU had emerged as a premier centre of learning in the region, Kovind said he was glad to take note of that other than imparting advanced education in all the major disciplines, the college was likewise given extraordinary emphasis on the development of this region which has noteworthy tribal population.
He said that institutions of higher education like NEHU can be instruments of social and financial transformation and can help Meghalaya in achieving better ranking on Human Development Indices.
The President further said,
“I feel especially happy to note that out of all medal awardees in today’s convocation, as many as 76 per cent are girls. In almost all the universities where I have attended convocations, I have observed that girls have been outshining boys. This reflects our society’s progress and points towards our bright future as a developed nation,”
Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui additionally went to the function during which Kanubhai Tailor, a uniquely abled ‘Padmashri’ awardee, was conferred the honorary level of Doctor of Letters in acknowledgement of his commitment towards the upliftment of physically challenged individuals. In all, 14,502 students were conferred with degrees.
Value of cleanliness
“The progressive society of Meghalaya gives primacy to women. The people of Meghalaya also teach the value of cleanliness. For several years, Mawlynnong has been regarded as the cleanest village in Asia. Speaking of cleanliness, it is worth mentioning that brooms made in Meghalaya from the local broom-grass are in great demand across the country. The pristine waters of Dawki and Umngot rivers reflect not only the beauty of nature but also the wisdom of Meghalaya’s people,”
The President said,
Besides, Kovind said the tribes of Meghalaya had built up the extraordinary craft of building root spans.
“Roots and branches of fast-growing trees are shaped along both banks of rivers and valleys in such a way that they meet to form a bridge. Root-bridges take around 15 to 25 years to build but these bioengineering wonders are estimated to last 500 years. This environment-friendly inter-generational way of building a natural infrastructure is full of messages for the entire humanity,” he said.
“Stating that passion for sports, specially football, among the youth of Meghalaya is well known, the President said, “I am glad that Meghalaya is implementing ‘Mission Football’ to encourage talented youngsters, including girls. The energetic and talented youth of the Northeast, including Meghalaya, have earned goodwill as sound professionals in the fields of information technology, healthcare, hospitality and several other areas.“
He likewise appealed to the youth to maintain and further strengthen their image as excellent sportspersons, artists and professionals, and not become victims of habits or substances which are injurious to health.
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