The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that along with “gross national income”, we must focus on how science and technology can foster greater “happiness” and better quality of life as well as harmonious inclusive societies. He was addressing the gathering after conferring Adi Shankara Young Scientist Awards 2018 at the Adi Shankara Institute of Engineering & Technology, in Kochi, Kerala today. The Governor of Kerala, Justice (Retd) P. Sathasivam and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.The Vice President said that the Adi Shankara Young Scientist Awards 2018 is an eloquent testimony to the inquisitiveness, ingenuity, and innovative initiative inherent in our young India. He further said that this is what gives us hope and optimism that India will be able to regain its rightful place in the comity of nations. Advancement of human knowledge has occurred in our country because of the “spirit of enquiry”, the ability to question, the ability to research and the ability to arrive at the truth, he added.
The Vice President mentioned three qualities to achieve excellence: First is the willingness to learn from each and every person, institution and learning resource we can access; The second is the ability to probe, analyse and synthesize; The third quality is to search for a completely out of the box solution that answers the problem at hand.
The Vice President said that Adi Shankara was not only a great philosopher but an extraordinary poet. He expounded the “Advaita” philosophy as per which, human beings can become divine through knowledge and the ultimate goal is to experience the Sat-chit-Ananda, the state of bliss consciousness that emanates from truth and higher consciousness, he added.The Vice President said that knowledge must lead us to become wise and we must have the wisdom to use the knowledge we acquire for improving our lives. He further said that ultimately, it is the Ananda we are all seeking and this is what we are talking about when we talk of “gross national happiness”. We should draw inspiration from the best in the Indian tradition, remove the deadwood that has also been accumulated over many years and revitalize our country, he added.The Vice President said that we should not be insular but be ever receptive and we should not only be proud of good ideas that we have inherited but also be willing to listen to wise words from others. He further said that we should shun complacency, we should abhor mediocrity, we should set our sights higher and a new India beckons all of us. We should and can make it happen, he added.The Vice President congratulated the Award winners and said that these kind of Awards become a part of our education system where, in each of our millions of classrooms of our country, scientific temper is fostered and creativity is carefully nurtured and therein lies the future of our country.