Text of the Vice-President’s speech at Global Alumni Summit 2023 of Panjab University (Excerpts)


Text of the Vice-President’s speech at Global Alumni Summit 2023 of Panjab University (Excerpts)

Namaskar to all!

We in this country have to be very responsible. Our Bharat is changing as never before. Ladies and gentleman, I was a Member of Parliament in 1989. I was a Union Minister. I had the occasion to see while being in the Government जिस भारत को हम सोने की चिड़िया कहते थे उस भारत का सोना हवाई जहाज से भारत के बाहर गया और स्विस बैंक, दो बैंकों के यहां प्लेस किया गया.

Look now where we are! Between one billion, two billion (USD forex reserve) we were fluctuating then; now we are 600 billion Plus.
had a meaningful interaction with ISRO chairman.

In 1960 our own satellite was launched through the pad of another country and our neighbour Pakistan did it from their own land but now whether it is USA, UK or Singapore, we have launched their satellites. That is the growth India has seen.

Panjab University have a glorious history. It has the potential to go much beyond what it is today. We all in this room need to secure it.  If we get determined, trust me, Panjab University will be one of the leading universities on the Global horizon. We need to work for it.

It gives me great pleasure to be in the company of some highly accomplished individuals, who have made their mark in various fields in various parts of the globe and they carry the rich legacy of Panjab University, that is the common thread.

Alumini of Panjab University have excelled in every field globally. I can’t name the alumni, I will miss out some. They have been the President of the country, Vice President of the country, Prime Minister of the country, Chief Justice of High Court, Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Judges, scientists, number of bureaucrats, senior bureaucrats, entrepreneurs. They are there.

Now such a universities that has unrivalled reservoir of alumni strength, alumini intellect, where is it today? Why should we not have a corpus generated by alumini that can be envy of global institutions? why cannot this university’s allumni rise to the occasion?

A university in the US where people from our country, student from only our country deride their own county. No one else does. Someone has to show them the mirror. That can be done only by Alumini Associations.

Our national education policy was evolved after more than three decades taking input from all the stakeholders. I was one of them in my capacity as the Governor of state of West Bengal. I secured inputs from every academician and that evolved a mechanism that allows the student full freedom.

We cannot believe in canal system when it comes to studies, it has to be the river. Let the human mind meander like a river. We may find why this meandering is taking place? It is consuming lots of land but when you examine scientifically, it nurtures the land around. Civilization did not come around any canal in the world, civilizations blossomed, prospered only around rivers. Let our young impressionable minds be so treated.

We take pride that ancient Bharat had number of Universities- Nalanda,Takshila and number of them. What stops as from creating global institutions of that level and Panjab University is one that can rise to that level. It cannot rise on this strength of senate or Syndicate or government or the Vice Chancellor. It can attain that accomplishment only by participation of the alumni.

The strength of an university lies not in infrastructure. These days industries create infrastructure. They have got into the business of education and health. In pre-independent India, this used to be the service – both education and health. Now it has become industry and commerce. But a university is recognised by its faculty and by its alumni. I dare say the alumni of Panjab University will rank number one if there is any objective analysis of any university in this country and therefore I have no doubt that Panjab University alumni can do it for sure.

Time has come to be on one platform. The alumini must be on one platform and the alumni must get pan India representation and a global representation. The moment that happens, there will be a big change that will catalyse several affirmative situations for the students studying here.

Some of the global universities of the world of great fame, I would not name them, their reputation thrives on the strength of the alumini. Thier financial reservoir is determined by alumini contribution. One individual contributing more and another contributing small amount is immaterial. Idea is how do we connect.

I don’t want to name a US university but any Indian who has studied in that University virtually gives a pledge that I will contribute every month so much. It pains my heart when Indian government in 2009 made a contribution of 5 million US Dollars to a foreign university in the US, for what? Don’t we have enough universities here to nurture. A big industrial house made contribution of 50 million US dollars. I am not against it. you do what you feel like but don’t ignore your home ground. We need to be extremely alive and sensitive to it.

Foreign universities have their foothold in places like Mumbai. Alumini can sensitize the industry and business also because you are in the key positions. Then anyone studying in Panjab University will get an impression that yes my real guardians are my alumini. If I am worth my salt, I receive good education my placement will not be a problem. That assurance will be there for every boy and girl studying in Panjab University. We need to bring it about.

I have no doubt that time has come in this country for convergence of intellect experience, exposure of alumini of various Institutions. We have IIM, we have IITs we have science institutes, there are several Universities – forensic, petroleum. We have important colleges. Now if the alumini of these institutes come together on one platform, they will help formulation of policies that will be eye opener.

People ask what change India has bought about. Take one instance, after 3 decades of great struggle and failure, the Prime Minister could bring about unanimity when there is reservation of Women to the extent of one third in the Lok Sabha and state legislature. It is vertical and horizontal. So there will be one third out of the Scheduled Tribe quota and one third out of Scheduled Cast quota also. Can there be a great equitable situation?

I come  from a village and imagine the plight of women who were to go before sunrise and after sunset. Now there is a toilet in every home. Imagine what a big relief to the women who used to cook for us feed us चूल्हे के ऊपर बीमार हो जाती थी, फूंकनी से फूंकती रहती थी, लकड़ी लाती थी। Gas connection, and mind you 100 million gas connection or more than that, have been given free to the needy this is not easy.

What I am suggesting is look around India is changing very fast.  India is changing as no other country is changing but India’s Quantum leap will emanate from its universities. I urge all of you to take a Sankalp today that you will have structured  mechanism of contribution… fiscal contribution is a small part of contribution, though very important significant, I don’t say is that the contribution 3.5 crore is less… It’s  very significant, it makes hard to give one’s contribution. I am saying also because I am also lawyer कहते है की वकील तो देता नहीं है.

What I suggest on this day which is important to all of us, let there be a think tank, let there be be a paper for execution. You can circulate it, then you will have a mechanism what can be added, how placements can take place, how we can hand hold those who needs fiscal assistance?

Let this Global meet start afresh with the mission… have an execution document, bring about the change with passion you will get satisfaction. Trust me, there could be no greater satisfaction than nurturing human resource. There can we no greatest satisfaction than nurturing your alma mater that has made you what you are today.

You look around the world, the so-called developed world, research is funded by corporates. In our country, this is not taking place. We have to generate an ecosystem that corporates are lured by this magnetically. I have no doubt about the strength of the alumni of the Panjab University. They have the capacity, caliber, experience, and exposure to shape your big result for Panjab University.

This University has to go a great way. I think I should not engage in more, but I tell you one thing. In certain situations, we are starting at the same time with Global Universities, and that is in research also: disruptive technology, artificial intelligence, internet of things. Just imagine machine learning. We can’t go lexical. What is machine learning? We talk 6G in the context of 5G because we have a mobile phone in your hand. 6G is very different; it will bring about geometrical results on all these issues. The alumni have a role to play; they can create a nerve centre here. The boys will be interested, and as a foot soldier of Panjab University, in my capacity as a Chancellor, I will be truly happy and delighted to contribute.

What I mean to say: Have a group or have groups. I will be happy to receive alumni with an agenda of Panjab University to interact with me at their convenience, to the extent I can accommodate… in my two offices and brainstorm. We will move ahead,
we have to generate a culture that everyone is magnetically attracted to the Alma mater like a child is attracted to the mother.

Posted On: 23 DEC 2023 5:26PM by PIB Delhi

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