The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the Valedictory Ceremony of Centenary Celebrations of the University of Delhi at the Multipurpose Hall of Delhi University Sports Complex today. He also laid the foundation stone of the building for the Faculty of Technology, Computer Centre and Academic Block, to be built in the North Campus of the University. The Prime Minister released Commemorative Centenary Volume – Compilation of Centenary Celebrations; Logo Book – Logo of Delhi University and its colleges; and Aura – 100 Years of University of Delhi.
The Prime Minister took a metro ride to reach University of Delhi. He also interacted with the students during the journey. Upon arriving, the Prime Minister took a walkthrough of the exhibition – Journey of 100 Years. He also witnessed Saraswati Vandana and University Kulgeet presented by the Faculty of Music and Fine Arts.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister asserted that he had firmly decided on taking part in the Valedictory Ceremony of Centenary Celebrations of University of Delhi and said that the feeling is like a homecoming. Referring to the short movie played before the address, the Prime Minister said that the contributions of the personalities which have emerged out of the University give a glimpse of the life of Delhi University. The Prime Minister expressed happiness to be present at Delhi University on a festive occasion and in a festive spirit. Underlining the importance of the company of colleagues for any visit to the University, the Prime Minister expressed happiness to have the opportunity to travel by Metro to reach the event.
The Prime Minister noted that the centenary celebrations of the University of Delhi are taking place at a time when India is celebrating the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav after completing 75 years of its independence. “The universities and educational institutions of any nation present a reflection of its achievements”, the Prime Minister said. In the 100-year-old journey of DU, the Prime Minister continued, there have been many historic landmarks which have connected the lives of many students, teachers and others. He remarked that Delhi University is not just a university but a movement, and it has filled every single moment with life. The Prime Minister congratulated every student, teacher and those associated with Delhi University on the Centenary Celebrations.
Noting the gathering of old and new alumni, the Prime Minister said that this is an occasion to catch up. The Prime Minister said, “If during these hundred years, DU has kept its emotions alive, it has kept its values vibrant too”. Underscoring the importance of knowledge, the Prime Minister noted that when India had vibrant universities like Nalanda and Takshila, it was at the peak of prosperity. “India’s rich education system is the carrier of India’s prosperity”, he said, underlining the high Indian share in the global GDP of that time. Continuous attacks during the period of slavery destroyed these institutions leading to obstruction of the intellectual flow of India and bringing the growth to standstill, he added.
He said after Independence, universities played a crucial role in giving concrete shape to the emotional swell of post-independence India by creating a strong generation of talented youngsters. Delhi University too played a major part in that, he said. This understanding of the past gives shape to our existence, shape to our ideals and expansion to the vision of the future, he said.
“When the resolve of an individual or an institution is towards the country, then its achievements are equated with the achievements of the nation”, the Prime Minister remarked. Shri Modi pointed out that there were only 3 colleges under Delhi University when it began but today there are more than 90 colleges under it. He also underlined that India which was once considered a fragile economy has now become one of the top 5 economies in the world. Noting that the number of women studying at DU is more than men, the Prime Minister pointed out that the gender ratio has significantly improved in the country. He emphasized the importance of an interconnection between the resolutions of a University and a nation and said that the deeper the roots of the educational institutions, the higher the progress of the country. The Prime Minister noted that the goal of Delhi University was India’s independence when it first began, but now that the institution will complete 125 years when India reaches 100 years of independence, the goal of Delhi University should be to make India a ‘Viksit Bharat’. “The third decade of the last century gave new momentum to the struggle for India’s independence, now the third decade of the new century will give impetus to the development journey of India”, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister indicated the large number of upcoming universities, colleges, IITs, IIMs and AIIMS. “All these institutes are becoming the building blocks of new India,” he added.
The Prime Minister emphasized that education is not merely a process of teaching but also a way of learning. He pointed out that after a long time, the focus is shifting to what a student wants to learn. He talked about the flexibility in the new National Education Policy for selecting subjects. Talking about the improvement of the quality and infusion of competitiveness among the institutions, the Prime Minister mentioned the National Institutional Ranking Framework which is motivating the institutions. He also pointed out the effort to link the autonomy of the institutions with the quality of education.
The Prime Minister said that due to the futuristic educational policies and decisions, recognition of Indian universities is increasing. He informed that while in 2014, in the QS world ranking there were only 12 Indian universities, today this number has reached 45. He credited India’s youth force as the guiding force for this transformation. The Prime Minister hailed today’s youth for transcending the concept of education being limited to placement and degrees. He said that they want to blaze their own trail and presented more than one lakh startups, 40% more patent filing as compared to 2014-15 and a rise in the Global Innovation Index as proof of this thinking.
The Prime Minister highlighted the deal on the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology or iCET with the USA during his recent visit and said that it will create new opportunities for the youth of India in various sectors ranging from AI to semiconductors. He said that it will enable access to technologies which were once beyond the reach of our youth and enhance skill development. The Prime Minister informed that companies like Micron, Google, Applied Materials etc. have decided to invest in India and it provides a glimpse of the bright future for the youth.
“The Industry 4.0 Revolution is knocking on India’s doors”, the Prime Minister remarked as he noted that technologies like AI, AR and VR which could only be witnessed in the movies have now become a part of our real lives. He noted that Robotics has become the new normal from driving to surgery and said that all these sectors are creating new avenues for the young generation of India. In the past years, the Prime Minister continued, India has opened its space and defence sector and made huge changes in the policies related to drones which have provided a chance to move forward for the youth.
The Prime Minister explained the impact of the growing profile of India on the students. He said now people wish to know about India. He mentioned India’s help to the world during the corona period. This created a curiosity in the world to know more about India that delivers even during the crisis. He said growing recognition through events like the G20 presidency is creating new avenues for students such as Yoga, Science, culture, festivals, literature, history, heritage and cuisine. “The demand of Indian youth is increasing, who can tell the world about India and can take our things to the world”, he said.
The Prime Minister said that Indian values like democracy, equality and mutual respect are becoming human values, creating new opportunities for Indian youth at fora like government and diplomacy. He also emphasized that the focus on History, culture and heritage is also creating new opportunities for the youth. He gave the example of tribal museums being set up in different states of the country and the development journey of independent India being presented through the PM Museum. He also expressed delight that the world’s largest heritage museum – ‘Yuge Yugeen Bharat’ is also going to be built in Delhi. The Prime Minister also recognized the growing recognition of Indian teachers and mentioned how world leaders have often told him about their Indian teachers. “This soft power of India is becoming a success story of the Indian youth”, he said. He asked the universities to prepare their mindset for this development. He asked them to prepare a roadmap for this and asked Delhi University that when they celebrated 125 years, they should figure among the top-ranking universities in the world. “Future making innovations should be done here, world’s best ideas and leaders should emerge from here, for this you will have to work continuously”, the Prime Minister said.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister emphasized the need to prepare our minds and hearts for a goal that we set for ourselves in life. He underlined that the responsibility of preparing the mind and heart of a nation has to be fulfilled by its educational institutions. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that Delhi University will fulfill these resolutions while taking this journey forward. “Our new generation should be future-ready, have the temperament to accept and face challenges, this is possible only through the vision and mission of the educational institution”, the Prime Minister concluded.
Union Minister for Education, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Vice Chancellor of University of Delhi, Shri Yogesh Singh were present on the occasion.
On the way to the DU programme by the Delhi Metro. Happy to have youngsters as my co-passengers. pic.twitter.com/G9pwsC0BQK
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 30, 2023