Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Twenty Third Convocation of Pondicherry University

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukerjee who is also the Visitor of Pondicherry University  delivered a most erudite and inspiring Convocation Address on the occasion of the 23rd Convocation. He combines the grace and simplicity of an enlightened mind with the penetrating insight of a good administrator. His long tears in politics has made him understand the reality of the Indian educational scenario and he pointed it out in his address.

After the usual preliminaries he went straight to the point. He lamented that not a single Indian University finds a place in the high table of education. As a student of History, he pointed out that for several centuries Universities like Taxila and Nalanda kept the lamp of education burning not only in India, but more pertinently   attracted students from all over the world. He said that it should be the goal of Indian higher education to bring back the lost glory. India, the President said has nearly 645 Universities and more than 2000 colleges. He seemed to suggest that while the numbers are encouraging, the quality is depressing.

I was struck by the clarity of his thought and the eloquence at his command.  If India has more politicians and statesmen like him the country would be well served. However, the sad reality faces him as he returns to New Delhi. The Ordinance setting aside the Supreme Court judgement   on convicted politicians will be sitting on his table. I have heard many Presidents address the Convocation in the University and I rate A P J Abdul Kalam and Shri Pranab Mukerjee among the most memorable speakers that I have heard.

The President is keen on improving the quality of higher education and his commitment is palpable. However,education should also embrace the humanities and cannot be restricted to the technology stream.

2 comments:

Bahu virupaksha said...

I have correctly predicted in this blog that the President will not be enthusiastic about the Congress sponsored ordinance about protecting convicted politicians.

Bahu virupaksha said...

I have correctly predicted in this blog that the President will not be enthusiastic about the Congress sponsored ordinance about protecting convicted politicians.