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Educational institutions must be flag bearers for co-existence of multiple views, thoughts and philosophies: President Mukherjee
Speaking at the special convocation of the University of Mumbai to confer Honorary D. Litt upon Dr. M.S. Swaminathan one of India's greatest scientists on March 17, who has transformed the country from its status of ship-to-mouth existence to one of the leading producers and exporters of food grains in the world', Mukherjee lauded the work of Dr. Swaminathan.

"He (Dr. Swaminathan) has always been complimented upon as a global scientist of rare distinction because of the indelible mark he has made on food production in India and elsewhere in the developing world. His advocacy of sustainable agriculture leading to an ever-green revolution makes him an acknowledged world leader in the field of sustainable food security. For his visionary work, Dr. Swaminathan has been bestowed upon important national and international awards," said Mukherjee.

He added, "There should be no room for intolerance, prejudice and hatred within the spaces of our educational institutions. They must act as flag bearers for the co-existence of multiple views, thoughts and philosophies."

During his address, the President of India, besides other issues, made the following remarks on education:

  • The institutions of higher learning and their linkages with counterparts in other parts of the world are of critical importance.
  • Being the storehouse of traditional wisdom, as also the nursery of new knowledge, the higher education eco-system will influence the various growth centres of the economy.
  • It will be beneficial to have corporate experts advising academic managers on industrial requirements in the course curricula.
  • A strong relationship between an institution of higher learning and an industrial enterprise can spur further expansion of the spheres of collaboration.
  • There should be no room for intolerance, prejudice and hatred within the spaces of our educational institutions. They must act as flag bearers for the co-existence of multiple views, thoughts and philosophies.
  • A good education system is one that can help develop social responsiveness in students. Ways should be devised to integrate student engagement with society in the academic framework.

Closing his address, Mukherjee called upon the faculty and students to internalise the values of selfless service and service before self, and instil them in everyone whose lives they touch.

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