Wardha, Nov 27: President Pranab Mukherjee today said a "quality-oriented" education system is the "force multiplier" that shall transform the country into one of the leading nations of the world.
Observing that teaching and learning processes are changing, the President said, "India has shown itself to be a secular, diverse and pluralistic society which is able to deal with the change, challenges and aspirations".
He was addressing the centenary celebration function of Wardha Shikshan Mandal, founded by Mahatma Gandhi's associates late Jamnalal Bajaj and Shrikrishnadas Jajoo, here as the chief guest.
"The world is on the move and India is also on the move. In this era of information and communication technology, teaching and learning processes are changing (too)," Mukherjee said, adding "endowed with good education and good values, the students and youth will contribute meaningfully in shaping their tomorrow."
Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister for Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari and Wardha Shikshan Mandal chairman and industrialist Rahul Bajaj were present on the dais. The President said the country could deal with the change, challenges and aspirations because it is a secular and diverse society.
"This (dealing with the change) is possible due to abiding (by) faith and belief in education," he said.
"I have a great faith in philosophy and culture of our civilisation. The road to progress can be straightened by harmonising civilisational values, and India is at a juncture when we need to realign moral compass. Understanding the core cultural and civilisational values and further building them is necessary,"
"A quality-oriented education system is a force multiplier that shall transform the country into one of the leading nations in the world. The principles of good education are clear and timeless. The demographic dividends of the country's youth can only be reaped (through) educational institutions that are committed to delivering appropriate learning environment," the President said.
Lauding the contribution of Wardha Shikshan Mandal which runs a number of institutions in Vidarbha, the President said the quality of education is critical and a culture of excellence must be promoted in the academic institutions. He also called for taking inspiration from ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and to strive for promoting clean environment in the institutions to achieve goals of 'Swachh Bharat' and 'Swachha Vidyalaya', an obvious reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cleanliness drive.
Fadnavis also asked the Mandal to seek an autonomous status for its colleges and institutions. "Maharashtra Government is promoting autonomy of colleges," he said. Gadkari, an alumnus of G S College of Commerce, Nagpur run by the Mandal, also complimented his alma mater for its contribution in the field of education in the region.
He also assured to extend help from Centre to the Mandal in setting up an engineering college in Wardha. In his address, Bajaj said the institution was trying hard to achieve the result wherein all students from its colleges will graduate in first class, besides "cent percent good character with academic excellence."
"Mandal institutions are run on ethical management with quality education and (is) a living example (of the same). People from low-income groups are sending their wards to study in our colleges," he said.
On the occasion, Mandal trustees, the senior-most member of Jajoo family, Narayan Jaju and retired high court judge Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari were felicitated. After the function, Mukherjee visited Bapu Kuti in Sewagram Ashram and paid his tributes to Mahatma Gandhi. He planted a sapling and briefly interacted with Ashram inmates and organisers.