Vice President Naidu calls for promoting ‘Bharateeyata’ or ‘Indianness’ in education system

Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu urged students to join the national effort to make education more inclusive by bringing it to the disadvantaged and needy sections of society. He pointed out that the government is making every effort to change the educational landscape of the country and make it more equitable, inclusive and accessible.

Shri Naidu added that “we must be aware that we cannot afford to let a section of society fall behind in education and socio-economic development.” The Vice President made the observations while addressing students and staff at Lawrence School of Lovedale in the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu during his visit to the school.

The Vice President described education as the most powerful agent of change that can boost the pace of development of the country while giving it a qualitative boost. He observed that India today is poised to become one of the leading nations in the world. Referring to the rich demographic dividend that India boasts of, he underscored the need to harness it to our advantage by mentioning the fact that more than 65% of India’s population is under the age of 35. “Tapped to their full potential, the talent and creative energies of our young minds will propel India into the league of the strongest nations on the world stage,” said Shri Naidu.

The Vice President hailed the National Education Policy-2020 for its innovative approach to education at all levels. “Once the NEP is implemented in letter and spirit in schools, colleges and universities in rural and urban India, it is expected to revolutionize education in our country, making it more accessible and inclusive,” he added. He pointed out that the NEP sets out the way forward by giving us a clear path to directly engage educational institutions in national development. Continuing his developments, the Vice-President added that “an important dimension of the NEP is that it seeks to restructure our educational institutions and orient them towards the challenges of the knowledge economy”. Referring to the role of schools in this context, Shri Naidu said that they play a key role in nation building and are destined to be an essential component of this knowledge revolution.

Shri Naidu reminded the assembly that India was once an ancient cradle of knowledge and home to great centers of learning, such as Nalanda and Taxashila, which earned him the status of Vishwaguru. He urged the students to keep in mind that as heirs to this rich spiritual and cultural heritage, it is our duty to preserve and protect this glorious heritage. He added that we should collectively strive to ensure that India regains its position as Vishwaguru in the community of nations.

Recalling the great tradition of higher education in ancient India, the Vice President said that colonial rule was not only exploiting our economy but also destroying our education system, and called for breaking with the colonial mentality that still prevails in some people. Emphasizing the need to build on our ancient tradition of education and Parampara, Shri Niadu called for Indianizing our education and not blindly aping the West.

Further emphasizing the need to promote and propagate ‘Bharateeyata’ or ‘Indianness’ in all walks of life, he said that we must strive to protect Indian culture and traditions. Shri Naidu also said that Indian culture is not about one religion but rather belongs to all.

The Vice President hailed community initiatives taken by students at Lawrence School, including rebuilding a settlement in tribal villages and helping villagers in flooded areas of Wayanad to rebuild their homes as well as a school . He added that such work would motivate them to be part of larger and more ambitious community initiatives.

Shri Naidu said schools should focus on promoting the overall personality growth of students and should also provide the necessary ambience and facilities for sports and games. He advised students to adopt a sport, game or form of exercise that appeals to them and build a healthy lifestyle. He also called for promoting Indian sports in a big way. The Vice President emphasized that the knowledge acquired by the students has the power to change the world and urged them to be part of the mission to build a new and vibrant India.

It may be noted that The Lawrence School, Lovedale is a 164 year old premier boarding school near Ooty, Tamil Nadu. The school is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and governed by an autonomous body, the Board of Governors, which is appointed by the Ministry of Education, Government of India.

Tamil Nadu Government Minister of Forests, Thiru K. Ramachandran, District Collector, Shri SP Amrit, Lawrence School board members, teachers and students were among those present at the opportunity.

(With GDP entries)