KATRA, APR 18: President Ram Nath Kovind, while addressing the sixth convocation of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University in Katra today referred to recent reports of the brutalisation and killing of a girl child in the state. Perhaps the most beautiful thing in the world, the President said, was the smile on the face of an innocent child. The greatest benchmark for society to judge its success would be to keep our children safe. Protecting every child and ensuring all children feel secure is the utmost responsibility of society. In various parts of the country, our children are sometimes victims of heinous crimes. The occurrence of such barbaric incidents even 70 years after Independence is a matter of shame. We have to ask ourselves – what kind of society are we building? What are we giving our future generation? Are we building a society where women can enjoy justice, equality and independence, as provided for by our Constitution? The President said it was a common responsibility for all of us, in all parts of the country, to address this issue.
Turning to the progress of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, the President was happy to note the success of its Technology Business Incubation Centre. The Centre can help incubate student-led start-ups. The President said that in today’s world, universities and students need to emphasise research, innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.
The President also noted that girl students had got eight of 12 gold medals at the University convocation. Despite the fact that our society till places more restrictions on girls than on boys, young women are achieving a lot, and in every field. The President specifically mentioned the medal winning performances of female sportspersons from all corners of India in the recent Commonwealth Games.
Later in the evening, the President attended a civic reception hosted for him by the state government at Amar Mahal in Jammu. Addressing the gathering, the President said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have shown courage, fortitude and resilience, even in the face of challenges. All of India takes pride in them and is confident of their ability to use economic and educational opportunities that are being created in different regions of the state. The President appreciated the government and people of the state for showing commitment to development and to the path of progress.
In her address on the occasion, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti asked universities to act as nurseries of good citizens and not mere examining bodies distributing degrees.
She said universities have to work on a two-pronged strategy of diffusing scientific, technical and professional knowledge on the one hand and inculcate value system in youth as an integral part of education on the other. She asked the students to re invoke among themselves the urge to innovate and do things differently, in order to bring around a change for better.
President, Ram Nath Kovind delivered the convocation address while Governor, N N Vohra also addressed the convocation.
The Chief Minister said stress should be laid on developing a value system free from aberrations and excesses against the weak. “When we talk of value system, I feel it is under real crisis. The recent happenings against weaker and underprivileged, especially the females are alarming and have shaken us as a society’, she said. Our material growth of all sorts, she added, becomes meaningless if we are not able to become good human beings having compassion, humility, inclusive sense and a set of values which can distinguish us as civilized humans. She said while the endeavour to create a knowledge-based society must be there, we must also make value education an integral part of all our learning efforts.
The Chief Minister said Jammu and Kashmir has traditionally been a fountain of knowledge and spirituality. She said spiritualism has always instilled scholarship and knowledge among the masses in the State the examples of which are galore in history from Sharda Peeth to Shahadra Sharief which reflects our deep commitment to knowledge, scholarship and tolerance for differences and ideas.
Welcoming the President, Ram Nath Kovind on the occasion, Mehbooba Mufti said his life, work and struggle represent the best combination of scholarship, talent and wisdom. His struggle, against all odds, proves that with hard work, our country offers the very best opportunities to succeed, even to the most deprived sections of our society, she added.
Complimenting the University administration for its academic excellence, the Chief Minister said Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University has established itself as a centre of excellence in a short period of time and is playing a key role in the transformation of the State into a Knowledge Economy and Knowledge Society. She committed her wholehearted support to the University in its mission to pursue education, scholarship and research and its application to society.
Congratulating the graduating students on the occasion, Mehbooba Mufti said she visualizes the University, as part of a rich legacy and composite heritage, ushering the State and the society into a new world of peace and prosperity.
President Ram Nath Kovind, accompanied by First Lady Savita Kovind arrived here on 2-day visit to the winter capital of the state and was received by the
Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Speaker Legislative Assembly Kavinder Gupta, Chairman Legislative Council Haji Anayat Ali, Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, Minister for Revenue Abdul Rehman Veeri, Minister for Cooperatives Chering Dorjay, Minister for PHE Sham Lal Choudhary, Minister for Food Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Zulfkar Ali, Major General Sanjay Singh, General Officer Commanding, the Tiger Division & Air Commodore SK Mishra the Air Force Station Commander. received the President at the Technical Airport.
Chief Secretary B B Vyas, Director General of Police Dr S P Vaid, Divisional Commissioner Jammu Hemant Kumar Sharma and military and paramilitary officials were also present on the occasion.
On arrival he was presented the President’s Guard of Honour by soldiers of Gorkha Rifles, commanded by Major Ranbir Chaudhary with a gracious Military Band of 14 Gorkha Training Centre playing the Martial Tunes. The event was spectacular, impressive and conducted with military élan.
The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces reviewed the Ceremonial Guard of Honour and appreciated the high morale of the troops.