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Enrollment of more girls in higher education augurs well for India: PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi on Monday said the University of Mysuru is the centre of rich education system of ancient India on one hand and the aspirations of future India on the other hand.

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Mysuru: Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi on Monday said the University of Mysuru is the centre of rich education system of ancient India on one hand and the aspirations of future India on the other hand.

Addressing virtually the centenary convocation of the university, the Prime Minister said, "The University of Mysuru realised the vision of Rajarshi Krishnaraja Wodeyar and Visvesvaraya ji."

Addressing the students on the occasion, Mr Modi said, "Your teachers are handing over to you the responsibilities of the nation and society, along with degrees. Now you will be moving from university campus to the bigger campus of life to face real challenges and to put your academic skills to real test. Along with your parents, all our trust and confidence in all of you is high. Going by hundreds of years of our tradition, education doesn't just mean acquiring degrees. The applicability of the knowledge you have acquired here will be of help in the campus of life."

"I am glad to learn more girls are enrolling for higher education, which augurs well for the country's development. In IITs (Indian Institute of Technology), their (girls) enrollment has gone up to 30 per cent in 6 years from 8 per cent in 2014," said Modi in Hindi while delivering the centenary convocation address of the University of Mysore through virtual mode from New Delhi.

Modi also hailed the century-old university for having more young women graduating in higher education than young men.

Advising the university's faculty and students to become more innovative, the Prime Minister said the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 would help them to become more competitive in multi-disciplinary programmes.

Describing the university as "Manasa Gangothri", an epithet coined by former UoM vice chancellor Kuvempu, the PM said, "It should keep flowing like water, innovate, set up incubation and technology development centres, build industry-academy linkages and take up inter disciplinary researches laying more focus on contemporary and global issues, local culture, local art, social issues and take the tradition of the university forward."

"Exactly 102 years ago, on the same day Nalwadi Kishnaraja Wadiyar had delivered the first convocation of the University of Mysuru. From then on, the university has produced several gems whose contribution to the nation-building is immense. Many great personalities like Bharath Rathna Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan have given new inspiration to many students in this university. In his first convocation, Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar had said, 'if I could see not one but ten lady graduates'. But today among those taking degrees the number of girls is more than boys. This is the sign of changing India. In all spheres of education, gross enrolment ratio of girls is more than boys. Even in higher education, and in innovation and technology based education participation of girls is more now. Four years ago, enrollment of girls in IIMs was just 8 percent. But now it has touched 20 percent," PM Modi said patting (girls) bhetiya. PM Mr Modi began his speech by greeting the people of the State on the occasion of Dasara and he said, "Mysuru Dasara naada habba ki ananth ananth shubh kaamanaaye. I was seeing some photographs of Dasara celebrations. Though there are several restrictions due to coronavirus, the exaltation of the festival is as it has always been in the past. But recent heavy rains in North Karnataka have cast shadow on this exaltation. But I assure that the Central and Karnataka governments are together trying to provide relief in all possible ways to the flood victims. I wish I interacted with my young friends face to face, and it is a different experience to participate in the function of the University of Mysuru. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have not been able to meet." Congratulating the students and teachers in Kannada, Mr Modi said, "Ghatikotsavada, ee smaraneeya samaarambada sandarbadalli nimagellarigu abhinandanegalu. Indu padavi pramaana pathra padeyuththiruva ellarigu shubaashayagalu. Bodaka sibbandingu shubhaashayagalannu koruththene, " he said. Refrring to noted Kannada writer Gorur Ramaswamy Aiyyangar's quote "Shikshanave baalina belaku", the PM said, "Education is the light which leads us even on difficult roads of life. Introspect your strength, capability, assess your experiences, talent and that will give you strength to choose new paths and explore the unlimited world. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, new start-ups have made nation stronger. If youth evolve, nation evolves." "In the past four-five years, there have been continuous efforts to focus on structural reforms in higher education, besides building infrastructure needed for it. We are putting in all efforts to make India a global hub for higher education, to make our youth competitive, qualitative and quantitative. Even after so many years of Independence, until 2014, in India there were only 16 IITs , 9 IIITs, 13 IIMS, 7 AIMS. But now in the past six years, every year a new IIT has been opened including one in Dharward in Karnataka, 16 IIITs, five IIMS, 15 AIIMS. Our efforts in lifting higher education is not confined to opening new institutions. The institutions are being given autonomy so that they can take decisions based on their needs. IIMS are being given more powers."

Karnataka Governor and chancellor of UoM Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala participated in the convocation virtually too. Higher Education Minister and pro chancellor of the university C N Ashwath Narayan, UoM Vice Chancellor Prof G Hemanth Kumar participated. Owing to covid pandemic situation, degrees and medals were presented to very few students symbolically. Honoris Causa Degree (honorary doctorate) was presented to Infosys foundation chairperson Sudha Murthy in absentia.

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