Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said that universities should not be the arena of violence and ideological battles. Instead of conflict, there should be place for discussion. Amit Shah was addressing as the Chief Guest during the opening ceremony of the 3-day seminar organized by Delhi University. As part of the Centenary Celebrations, this three-day international symposium on Revisiting Ideas from ‘Swaraj’ to ‘New India’ is being organized by the Department of Political Science, University of Delhi. Union Minister for Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan was present as the special guest at the inauguration of the seminar, while the function was presided over by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Yogesh Singh.
In his address during the function, Amit Shah said that there is no need to fight for Ideology, but only through discussion, Ideology progresses and lasts for ages. He said that no one remembers those who destructed Nalanda and Taxila Universities. Regarding the fight for rights, he called upon the youth to not just think about their rights, but take care of their responsibilities too. When you worry about your responsibilities, then someone’s rights will be protected on its own. He called upon the youth to adopt the path of responsibility by choosing the path of struggle.
Explaining the importance of universities for change in the society, he said that whenever changes happen, the universities are their carriers. Universities have been of special importance in the era of change. He said that our universities have been the carriers of many movements since independence movement and now they can become carriers of movement of ideas. In the context of University of Delhi, he said that this university has maintained its relevance even after 100 years, which is a great achievement. For this, from the first Vice Chancellor of DU Hari Singh Gaur to the current Vice Chancellor, Prof. Yogesh Singh, everyone deserves an applause. He said that the University of Delhi should also be the carrier of the change that has started in this country after 2014. Since the inception of DU, he remembered many great personalities who have been associated with DU. Delhi University has also contributed a lot in the movement to save the country’s democracy in 1975.
Regarding the theme of the seminar, the chief guest said that this is a very important topic. Many ideas will be discussed in this seminar. Regarding the interpretation of the word Swaraj in the title of the seminar, he said that after independence, the rulers limited its definition only to the system of governance, while the meaning of this word is very broad. He said that the word self has great importance in the concept of Swaraj. Swadeshi, truth, non-violence, swadharm and nationalism are included in the interpretation of the word ‘self’. The then rulers limited all the systems related to Swaraj only till governance. He said that the idea of New India is contained in this broad idea of Swaraj.
He said that it is not correct to see India as a geopolitical country, because India is a geo-cultural country. There is cultural unity in every corner of India and it is this culture that connects us. He said that it is our specialty to accept the good that is happening in the world, but that does not mean that our past is not relevant. We talked about universal brotherhood thousands of years ago. He said that for years India had been under attack by neighboring countries, but when India gave a befitting reply by conducting surgical strikes and air strikes, then India’s defense policy became clear to the world.
Shah said that during the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, efforts have been made to make India socially and economically prosperous in the last 8 years. A lot of work has been done in India socially, educationally, economically and culturally. Earlier, 80 crore people who did not consider themselves to be a part of the country’s system, now with schemes like Antodaya, they have started considering themselves as a part of India’s economy. Beneficiaries are getting money through DBT directly into the accounts without middlemen. During Corona, by applying 190 crore vaccines, an example has been set in the world.
Today India is ahead of the world’s competition. He said that development is not happening for one section of the society but for the whole society. Referring to the removal of AFSPA from 75% of the North East under the strong leadership of Narendra Modi, he said that once people used to say that rivers of blood will flow by removing Article 370, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed it in an effortless manner and no one even had the courage to throw even a single stone or pebble.
The Home Minister further said that the National Education Policy 2020 is the document for a bright future of India. Under this, an attempt has been made to provide a platform to all types of knowledge. He said that this is the first education policy which no one could oppose. Under the new education policy, he described the policy of giving education in mother tongue up to the first 5 years of schooling as beneficial for the future. Shah said that whoever is cut off from his mother tongue is cut off from his roots. One can learn in any language in the country’s education system, but without studying your mother tongue, you will not be able to connect with the basic roots of the country. He said that under the new education policy, importance has been given to vocational education from class 6 to 8. In the old education policy, children used to choose the stream from class 11th onwards, whereas now they will be able to choose the stream for further education from class 9th onwards. Describing the many schemes launched by the Modi government, he said that only the youth of this country can make this country great. At the end of his address, the Home Minister said that the nectar that will emerge from the thoughts in this three-day seminar will undoubtedly be useful for the country.
In his welcome address, Vice Chancellor Yogesh Singh called it a golden day in the history of the University with Union Home and Cooperation Minister Sh. Amit Shah visiting its campus. Hailing our Hon’ble Prime Minister’s dream of making India a 6 trillion dollar economy till 2047, the Vice Chancellor emphasised the role of the University in realising this dream that shall entail a growth rate of at least 10% in the next 20 years. He said that it is the Universities where such ideas formulate and are implemented. Emphasising the role of ideas, he mentioned that it was an idea only that was thought of as a centenary chance of letting students complete their pending degrees from the University of Delhi. The registration for appearing in examination as a part of this centenary chance was open for a fortnight and saw a phenomenal 1560 students registering for the same, the oldest among whom is a 1977-1980
batch student of B.Com. from ARSD College. Such out of the box ideas, he said, are required to make Modi ji’s dream of a ‘New India’ a reality.
Special Guest, Sh. Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, in his address, applauded the University of Delhi for playing a leadership role in implementation of the National Education Policy 2020, which, he said, shall play an important role in shaping the ‘New India’. He also charted a road map for the University of Delhi and emphasised that the University should aim at starting futuristic short term courses, like those in patent processes, green GDP accounting, E-commerce, etc. He also said that India has shown itself to be a resilient economy during the Covid pandemic and it should be the role of the University to portray India’s present welfare governance model as a global brand.
In his special lecture, Sh. Mukul Kanitkar, National Organising Secretary, Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal, said that India is known in all spheres like economic, political and social, not just spiritual. We have shifted from Swaraj to Atmna Nirbhar Barat and the use technology at right time would take India to the zenith of power. This model of power shall teach the world to live with family with love. Repair, reuse and recycle are the solutions to existential problem of today and the University can become a model for Green and sustainable life. These, he felt, shall be few of the new components of a ‘New India’.
During the inauguration ceremony of the seminar, apart from the chief guest, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, special guest, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, DU Vice Chancellor Prof. Yogesh Singh, National Organization Secretary of Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal Mukul Kanitkar, many dignitaries including Dean of Colleges Balaram Pani, Director of DU South Delhi Campus Prof. Shri Prakash Singh, Director, COL, Prof. Payal Mago, DU Registrar Dr Vikas Gupta, Head of Department of Political Science Prof. Sangeet Ragi, Convener of Centenary Celebrations Committee Prof. Neera Agnimitra, Vice Chancellor of Teachers Training University Prof. Dhananjay Joshi, DU PRO Anoop Lather etc. were present.