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Educating youth, sharpening their mental and technical skills key to nation building: Shri. Pranab Mukherjee
Addresses students, faculty of CUK and other institutions through video-conferencing
Srinagar, Jan 19: Shri. Pranab Mukherjee, Honorable President and Visitor of Central Universities today said that the investment in educating the youth, in the sharpening of their mental faculties, technical skills, professional competence, and awareness about their social responsibilities, would be the key to prepare them for nation-building.

Addressing the students and faculty of the Central University of Kashmir (CUK) along with 150 institutions of higher learning and civil service academies through video-conferencing, on the topic, “youth and nation-building” Shri. Pranab Mukherjee said “the way we nurture our youth into confident, capable and committed citizens will determine our country’s future.”

Extending warm New Year greetings to the students and faculty members, Shri. Pranab Mukherjee said, “information and communication technology has made us think, act and react differently. Distances have shrunk; mobility has increased; instant communication has led to greater awareness, and raised expectations. Consumerism is at its peak. Medical sciences have raised the life expectancy and through better healthcare improved the quality of life. Disruptive technologies have become the rule rather than the exception, putting strain on adaptive capacity of individuals and systems.” “It is in this environment that the youth have to shoulder the responsibility of nation-building. They must be readied for it through the medium of education and training. The education that we impart to our youth must have three clearly-defined goals. First, it must teach them to control their lives, which can be done through character-building, healthcare, and sharpening the ability to learn and use experience for attainment of one’s goals. Second, it must teach them to understand life through a study of history, science, religion and philosophy. And the third, it must teach them to enjoy their lives through friendships and relationships, observance of nature, and study of art and literature. Our education system must gear up to develop our youth on these lines,” he added.

The President further said, “We must provide value-based education to our youth and inculcate in them the spirit of democratic behaviour which calls for an appreciation of the rich diversity of our nation, assimilation of ideas, and accommodation for divergent or contrarian views. The idea of secularism is deeply ingrained in the consciousness of our nation. It has to be further strengthened in the minds of the young ones to build a harmonious society.”

About gender equality in the country, he said, “gender equality is essential for building an inclusive society. Unless women participate on equal terms and in equal numbers in the process of nation-building, all efforts will remain incomplete. The occurrence of some unfortunate incidents of atrocity and violence against women in recent years should strengthen our resolve to wipe out any trace of depravity and evil from the minds of individuals. ‘Respect for women’ is sacrosanct in our society with its roots embedded in our civilizational values, which are reflected in our Constitution. A spirit of reverence towards women must be instilled in our children in our homes and educational institutions. It must guide social conduct of an individual from an early age.”

He said that without socio-economic equity, the word "inclusion” has no meaning. “During the last few years, we have provided citizens the right to information, employment, education and food, backed by legal guarantees. The Government has launched programmes for financial inclusion, creation of model villages and formation of a digitally-empowered society. We have strong legislations and schemes oriented towards inclusion. What we have to do now is to create enough opportunities through their implementation to meet the ambitions of an aspirational India,” he added.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir, Registrar, Prof. M Afzal Zargar, Controller of Examinations, Dr. Nazir Ahmad Gilkar, Deans of various Schools, Heads and Coordinators of several departments, senior functionaries of the varsity were among other present on the occasion.

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