- Respect the mandate of the people: Vice President
- Asks people to choose their representatives on the basis of 4C’s – Character, Calibre, Capacity and Conduct
- Releases the book ‘A Child of Destiny’, penned by Prof. K. Ramakrishna Rao
The Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha Shri M Venkaiah Naidu expressed deep anguish over the recent happenings in certain legislatures and Parliament with members resorting to acrimonious behaviour.
Addressing the gathering after releasing a book titled, ‘A Child of Destiny’, an autobiography penned by Prof. K. Ramakrishna Rao, well-known educationist in Visakhapatnam today, he said that he was perturbed by the vitriolic language used by members against their opponents and underscored that they were only political rivals and not enemies. He expressed concern over the growing display of animosities by people in public life.
Pointing out that there were bound to be differences in a democracy, the Vice President cautioned that democracy would be the loser if there was no debate or discussion but only disruption. Observing that people were watching the conduct of the public representatives, he warned that there would be a loss of faith in the system if the trend continued unchecked.
Shri Naidu asked political parties to respect the mandate of the people. He advised people to elect or choose their representatives based on their Character, Calibre, Capacity and Conduct instead of Cash, Caste, Community and Criminality.
Referring to the Citizenship Amendment Act, Shri Naidu asserted that it does not discriminate against Indian citizens but seeks to provide citizenship to those who were persecuted on religious grounds in neighbouring countries.
Asking people to read and understand legislation like abrogation of Article 370 and the CAA, he cautioned that vested interests were trying to create a negative opinion overseas on India. He asserted that no country has any business to interfere in India’s internal affairs.
Addressing the young students in the gathering, Shri Naidu stressed the need to teach more about Indian history and make them aware of its heritage, culture and the contributions of freedom fighters and many other national icons. He said that the education they receive must be value-based.
He suggested reorienting the curriculum in terms of incorporating emerging trends in the area of higher education and improving methods of instruction to leverage the endless possibilities of Information Technology.
Describing Prof. K. Ramakrishna Rao as a multifaceted genius, the Vice President said that he was a pre-eminent scholar, a dedicated academician, a celebrated author, an accomplished researcher, scientist and a steadfast Gandhian.
“His contribution to philosophy and Gandhian thought and the role of parapsychology in human behaviour is truly phenomenal,” he added.
Shri Naidu called upon the younger generation to read the autobiography and draw inspiration from his life.
The Minister for Culture and Tourism of Govt. of Andhra Pradesh
Shri MuttamSetti Srinivasa Rao, Chancellor of GITAM University, Prof. K Ramakrishna Rao, Vice-Chancellor of GITAM University, Prof. K. Siva Rama Krishna, President, GITAM, Shri M Bharath and Vice-President, Prof. M Gangadhar Rao and many other dignitaries were present at the venue.
The following is the full text of the Vice President’s speech
“I am delighted to be here with all of you on this special occasion of the release of the book ‘A Child of Destiny’, an autobiography penned by Prof. K. Ramakrishna Rao.
Prof. K. Ramakrishna Rao is a multifaceted genius. He is a pre-eminent scholar, a dedicated academician, a celebrated author, an accomplished researcher and Scientist and a steadfast Gandhian. He has to his credit, manifold academic achievements and plethora of awards, including the prestigious Padma Shri. He has authored as many as 20 books and 300 research papers. He has had a rewarding career and a fulfilling family life.
He has witnessed life in all its kaleidoscopic academic splendour. Yet there remains in him an everlasting thirst to contribute to the academic shelves of the library.
He imbibed the great philosophical traditions of the East and the West under the tutelage of his gurus Saileswar Sen and Sachidananda Murthy of Andhra University and Richard Mc Keon at the University of Chicago.
His contribution to philosophy and Gandhian thought and the role of parapsychology in human behaviour is truly phenomenal.
Destiny does indeed play an important role in taking us to new places, introducing us to new people and offering us careers that we never would have thought of taking up. However, it is for us to rise to the occasion, overcome the challenges and accomplish higher goals.
Prof. Rao could have easily settled for a very comfortable life in the United States along with his children and grandchildren, but he willingly chose to return to India for the love of his country and a burning zeal to carry forward Gandhian philosophy among his fellowmen. He chose to stay grounded and become the crusader of higher education and a Gandhian way of life.
A man of pleasant bearing, charm and a calm demeanour, Prof. K. Ramakrishna Rao Garu is a name to be reckoned with and his book ‘A Child of Destiny’ is an essential volume for all educationists, academicians, and for anyone who admires the spirit of service.
We must not fail to reap this incredible demographic dividend, this great growth potential that this enormous youth population presents. However, the population alone cannot propel growth.
We can only harness the economic potential of this youth population if we are able to provide quality education, good health, and decent employment to them.
It is laudable that Budget 2020 allocated Rs.99,300 crore for the education sector and Rs.3,000 crore for skill development for the next fiscal. We must focus on improving education along the three dimensions; that of equity, affordability and quality.
To improve quality, we must invest much more in the continuous professional development programme for teachers and make teaching a lucrative profession so that the best minds in the country are attracted to teaching.
Efforts need to be taken to enhance the curriculum in terms of incorporating new, emerging trends in the area of higher education. We must also explore new and improved methods of instruction, leveraging the endless possibilities of Information Technology.
Even though we have been able to bring about praiseworthy quantitative improvements, I am afraid we have not fared very well when it comes to qualitative learning outcomes.
I feel that learning outcomes must be constantly evaluated through independent, non-partisan assessments and a robust monitoring scheme at ground zero so that we can make course corrections as and when required.
I am very happy to learn that Government has decided to let the top 100 institutions in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) to start full-fledged, degree level online education programme for students of deprived sections of the society. We need to overhaul and democratize our entire education system, taking it to the masses.
My dear young friends present here,
I hope that many of you will become entrepreneurs and innovators. Our Universities must act as centres for ideation, safe spaces for exploration and experimentation and conducive environments to entrepreneurship.
The youth of this country are leading many large transnational corporations and business enterprises in foreign countries. We must nurture and foster the same entrepreneurial spirit within the nation too.
India is the world’s third-largest start-up ecosystem. We must make it the largest in the world by leveraging the innovativeness, courage and brilliance of young people like you.
I would also appeal to all the students of the nation to set aside some time for social service.
I urge you to travel within the nation extensively, especially to the rural areas. The rural-urban divide is one of the most burning issues that we face today.
I want you to find home-grown solutions to tackle this challenge.
I want you to set your sights firmly on two keywords when it comes to growth-Sustainability and Inclusion.
These are the two principles that you must use to temper each one of your ideas, your enterprises and your plans for the future of this nation.
You have before you the lives of stalwarts like Prof. K. Ramakrishna Rao and the Founder President of this University, Dr.M.V.V.S.Murthi to take inspiration from.
I have great confidence in the youth of this nation. You will shape the future of this nation and I have no doubt in my mind that it will be a bright one.
Let me once again congratulate Prof. K. Ramakrishna Rao Garu. I am confident that he would continue to be the guiding light to many young people.
I also applaud the GITAM University for facilitating this beautiful gathering here. I wish this University, its teachers, staff and students all the very best in their future endeavours.
Jai Hind! ”