The President of India, Sri Pranab Mukherjee delivered a new year message through video conferencing and web casting using the NKN(National Knowledge Network) to the students and the faculty members of the Central institutions, IITs and NITs. The video was to be telecasted live on 7th January 2014 at 1200 hours. The message was all about motivating the students and the faculty members so as to improve the quality of education in India. According to our first citizen, education is the ‘alchemy’ that can bring India back to it’s golden age, so says one of the second year students of the University of Delhi who got the privilege to attend the conference. Further the President elaborated by saying that education is the top priority of our nation because the quality of education goes hand in hand with the development of nation and people’s lifestyle.
He was disheartened to share that the latest surveys conducted by two of the most reputed international organizations regarding the worldwide ranking of the universities did not have names of any of the Indian institutions in the top 200 universities. He tried to bring out the disparity between the past and the present by using examples of the renowned universities like Nalanda and Taxila; where students from abroad used to come to study but now the condition has just got reversed. His disappointment was visible in his speech. Disappointment on account of students going abroad for higher studies; despite the noble laureates like Amartya Sen and Hargobind Khurana having completed their graduation in India itself.
Keeping these ados aside, our President was keen upon the institutions to increase their potential in the field of research and to make it a consistent and conducive innovation. The way our honorable first citizen was motivating the students was remarkable. He even hopes to see the future noble laureates from amongst us. He then moved on to the teachers whom he advised to be abreast of the latest developments for the betterment of the students. He recommended the utilization of a common platform for resources to be used by all the faculties for skill enhancement. The best example of that could be the NKN itself; which was the body behind the success of this video conference. Sri Pranab Mukherjee presented network as a medium which would compensate the shortage in terms of faculty, infrastructure and resources which hinder the institutions from offering a great learning experience. He said that universities have to be projected in a more proactive manner and they have to get serious towards the ranking procedure of the universities worldwide. The reason behind it being that the rank boosts the morale of the students and leads to their proper academic growth and placement.
Our President seems to be adamant about the improvement of the quality of education. The last year he conducted a conference in February in which he summoned the Vice Chancellors of all the Central Universities. Further, in November he conducted another conference in which the directors of the IITs and the NITs were called to be a part of, in the Rashtrapati Bhawan itself. Not just this, he himself went on tours to over 45 Indian institutions to see what the condition was like. He even has been taking the vice chancellors of the premiere institutions with him on his international visits so that they get to know the quality of education prevailing abroad. Sri Pranab Mukherjee has sought out a remedial solution to prevent the quality of education from degrading. He in his message today said that what we need today is a collaborative partnership on cutting edge technology, better linkage with industries and better incentives through scholarships. These factors he said would encourage the students in the field of research and would even attract the foreign students.
He has put forward the idea of conducting Inspired Teacher Lecture Series to carry forward the benefits of excellence in teaching. Throughout the message whatever the president said was all about technology and improvement. The note on which he ended his message inspired almost all the young spectators, says Divya Arora, a merit holder of the University of Delhi who was a witness to it.
”Pursuit of academic excellence should be accompanied by the quest for moral development. Your preparedness in life should be on the foundation of patriotism, compassion, tolerance, integrity and equality”, says the President. We youngsters are the future of India. Our development is, in a way India’s development. So it is good if we, or rather we should try to understand our nation, read views on national issues, choose to engage with our beautiful, complex, difficult, noisy(in a winking tone) democracy. We must understand our rights and duties, especially those towards the less privileged sections of the society. They need our help and we must use the best of our knowledge to help them. He even quoted Dr. S. Radhakrishnan by saying:
” All education is on the one side, a search for truth on the other side. It is the pursuit of social betterment. You may discover truth but you should apply it to improve the status of the society.”
National Knowledge Network has proved how useful being techno savvy is. How easily thoughts can be circulated through a single video conference. Not all the students got the opportunity to be a part of it. The ones who could not make up to it were nonetheless excited. Where everything fails, the internet saves you from being doomed. These people checked the video which was uploaded on the world wide web. President’s message was more than just a message. It succeeded in motivating the young minds, the future of India to start taking steps towards the zenith of success.
The video conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzVWBHFtd7M