The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu called upon the youth to take a vow to put an end to social evils such as discrimination based on gender, caste, and disrespect to women by leading the nation towards equality. Expressing concern over the erosion of values in the society, especially in the context of the recent atrocities against women, the Vice President opined that mere a Bill or an Act was not sufficient to act as a deterrent to crimes against women. He stressed the need for a change of Mindset in people to arrest such tendencies and incidents.Delivering the 16th Convocation address of the Symbiosis International (Deemed University) in Pune today, Shri Naidu urged educational institutions, teachers, and parents to teach children about Indian culture that propounds values such as respecting women, guru, elders.Shri Naidu called for a cultural renaissance in the country to revive and restore India’s age-old ethos, morals, and values. He said that it was the time that ‘we go back to our roots.’Describing women’s empowerment as a force-multiplier in transforming families, economy and the society at large and that welfare of the nation was not possible unless the condition of women were empowered, the Vice President asked universities and higher educational institutions to pay special attention to women's empowerment.Shri Naidu wanted educational institutions that were emerging as a major hub for incubation, entrepreneurial-learning, and development in the times to come to accord priority to the empowerment of women.
Calling for sustainable solutions for the common man’s everyday challenges, the Vice President wanted students to come up with bold and out of the box ideas to find solutions. He asked them to use advancements in science, technology, and innovation to fructify and improve the quality of human lives.Asserting that education ecosystem must be sensitive and cater to the needs of the most underprivileged, Shri Naidu said that education alone has the power to transform communities and that nation looks towards educational institutions to guide the younger generation.Shri Naidu wanted universities to improve standards, infrastructure and make good use of technology to improve teaching methodologies to prepare students to adjust and excel in the rapidly changing technological, economic and social scenario.On the occasion, the Vice President paid tributes of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi and - Baba Saheb Ambedkar who shared a special bonding with the city and advised students to learn about the contributions of these two stalwarts to the nation and the whole of humanity.The Vice President congratulated Dr. Tessy Thomas, a distinguished scientist and Shri Javed Akhtar, a renowned poet, lyricist and screenwriter on receiving Doctorate of Literature (Honoris causa) from the University during the 16th Convocation today.During the event, students from countries such as Bhutan, Malawi, Sudan, Japan, and others presented their respective country’s flag as a mark of respect to the Vice President of India. Board of Directors, Department Heads, Faculty and more than 10,000 students from different institutions of Symbiosis from different parts of the country and around foreign students representing 85 countries were present at the convocation.