Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda on Friday stressed the need for the legal fraternity not only to uphold but also to nourish and strength the fundamental elements of Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, as enshrined in the Indian Constitution, in order to protect the rich tapestry of India's diversity.Delivering the keynote address at the Guru Nanak Dev University Alumni Meet 2018 here today, Nanda cautioned the gathering against the grave dangers of 'Fake News' to the nation’s democratic values, and urged the society to take a principled stand wherever necessary. Failure to take a principled stand, especially if it is on a mega scale, would put the very existence of India as the largest democracy at risk, along with the great freedoms we enjoy and take for granted today, he added.“We have the obligation and responsibility to ensure that in our work and conduct we shun bias, stereotypes and predispositions to adopt perspectives that uphold justice, liberty, equality and fraternity,” the AG emphasized. Important as the content of our learning is, important as the expert application of that knowledge and skill is, there are values far more significant than that, he added.Underscoring the importance to fire the young minds with an ability to think and question, the Advocate General said the endeavour should be to encourage students towards a well-drawn out process of systematic exploration.
Classroom teaching, for a student, should be the starting point for an enduring discourse and discovery and should not be the last word, said Nanda. Highlighting the role played by Alumni Associations worldwide in providing vital funds for the promotion of education, he cited the case of IIT-Madras where Rs. 177 Crores had been raised in the last eight years from 5,000 donors. Lauding the GNDU Alumni Association for their efforts in making the event possible, he requested the Vice-Chancellor to initiate a concerted programme of Alumni giving and sponsorships of research facilities with a view to lessening the burden on the state exchequer without affecting the quality of teaching and research.Calling for greater involvement of GNDU Alumni Diaspora, he said there was an immense possibility for enhancing the standing of GNDU in the national and international academic community.Stressing the need to further develop the culture of fundraising in India, the Advocate General proposed the concept of Alumni Social Responsibility on the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility.On a nostalgic note, Nanda recalled his days of youth at the University, Nanda said an idyllic institution nourishes grooms and protects its sons and daughters like a mother and prepares them for service to the outer world at large. He described the knowledge and skill attained at GNDU as his greatest asset.