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Pranab Mukherjee says: Universities Crucial National Assets

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President at SKM University Convocation
The President of India, 'Shri Pranab Mukherjee' attended Convocation of Sido Kanhu Murmu University at Dumka today (April 29, 2013).

Speaking on the occasion the President said India is in the process of fast and radical change, a process which is unstoppable. However, change is occurring at very different speeds in each segment of society.

The complexity of the Indian society - as embodied in the division and subdivision by geography, religion, caste, class, gender and employment- calls for a careful monitoring and deft steering of this process of change.

The successful management of this change is the biggest challenge of our times. Our response to this challenge would determine the destiny of India as a nation.

The President said Sido Kanhu Murmu University is a tribute to two legendary freedom fighters from this region, Sido Murmu and Kanhu Murmu. They led the Santhal rebellion popularly known as ‘Santhal Hul' in 1855 against the exploitation of the colonial rule.

Their contribution to the nation would remain immortalized in the name of this University. It is now for this University to spread the message and values for which these great men struggled and made the supreme sacrifice.

The President said that in the world of globalization moreover, universities are regarded as crucial national assets. Governments around the world have invested heavily in universities. They have seen as vital sources of new knowledge and innovative thinking, and as providers of skilled personnel with credible credentials.

Besides, they are also acting as magnets of international talent and business investment into a region, as agents of social justice and mobility, and as resources of cultural and social vitality. Education is the prime mover of the progress of a country and India must invest in education, especially keeping in mind the demographic advantage it enjoys.

The President said that in his Address to the Nation on the eve of the last Republic Day, however, he had stated that it is time for the nation to reset its moral compass.

He called upon those who educate and nurture the minds of the youth, and who wield a moral authority in the society to set this process in motion.

He said our universities and academic institutions also have a responsibility to take the lead and, impart education that would help us meet the moral challenge of our times. It must help in spreading the values of human dignity and equality in the society.

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