The Vice President of India,M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the students and young people should imbibe ethical values and always remain committed to high morals. They have to strive to preserve culture and protect nature to ensure a better future for the country, he added. He was addressing the gathering at the birth centenary celebrations of Fr. Theo Mathias SJ, the founder Principal of the Andhra Loyola College, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh today.Applauding Fr. Mathias’s missionary zeal and relentless hard work that led to the birth of the Andhra Loyola College, the Vice President said that Fr. Mathias had conquered the hearts and minds of the Telugu people by the breadth of his vision and the depth of his commitment.Stating that great institutions do not thrive only on rules but also customs, traditions and practices, the Vice President expressed his appreciation for the customs of punctuality, discipline, respect and devotion to duty established by Fr. Mathias which flourished in the great institution to this day.Shri Naidu spoke about the challenges of higher education such as shortage of funds, dearth of qualified teachers, infrastructure deficits, issues related to quality and equity and said that a lot needs to be done post implementation of the Right to Education Act to strengthen India’s education sector.The Vice President said that India’s aim is inclusive and sustainable development and added that the path to reach this goal has to be cemented by the youth of the country who are inventive, intelligent and ingenious.
Shri Naidu said that India should not be pulled back to the dark ages by abhorrent social practices such as caste discrimination, violence, bigotry and prejudice. He urged the youth of the country to break free from all such social evils, imbibe new and progressive values.Affirming that India has always been a country firmly rooted in secularism, and values of tolerance, acceptance and peace, the Vice President implored the youth to always have the first and foremost allegiance to the timeless constitutional values of the country. The commitment to the constitution, to your fellow human beings and the unity and integrity of the nation, is the essence of true nationalism, of true patriotism, he added. Shri Naidu opined that there is also a need to abandon the ‘colonial mind-set’ and encourage talent, skills and craftsmanship inherently present in every IndianThe Vice President said that we live in a very complicated world where falsehoods get mixed up with the truth. He added that the changing media landscape and the profusion of new social media were making it all the more challenging to make right decisions and to find the right answers to pressing problems.He said that under such circumstances, in addition to knowledge, skill and competence, young people should also be in possession of a strong moral compass that would help guide them through these ethical dilemmas of the new world which they would face in the course of their careers and personal lives. We need knowledge, but also wisdom, he added.He also stressed on the need to make moral science a mandatory subject in educational institutions and on the need to create awareness on environmental sustainability among the youth.