Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today lauded the performance of our sportspersons at the Tokyo Olympics and called for doubling the medal count in the Paris Olympics in 2024. He also urged all stakeholders including the private sector to build an all-encompassing support system for our young and aspiring athletes.
Inaugurating the Tiruchirappalli Campus of SRM Institute of Science and Technology virtually from Chennai Raj Bhavan, the Vice President said that the stellar performance of India’s sportspersons at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics filled the hearts of all our countrymen with pride.
Praising the grit and resilience of our Paralympians for bringing home a record number of 19 medals, he said that their exemplary performance has not only changed people’s perception towards disability but has also kindled hopes of India emerging as a major sporting power.
“There are many more Avani Lekharas and Neeraj Chopras waiting in the wings, whose talent can be nurtured successfully if an enabling ecosystem is created,” he added and appealed to educational institutions to take a lead in this regard. He also suggested that universities should revive and promote traditional Indian sports like kabaddi and kho-kho in a big way.
Underlining the importance of quality education in creating a new resurgent and aspirational India, the Vice President called for increasing employability of the students passing out of our universities and colleges. In this regard, he emphasised the need for building a stronger academia-industry connection and focusing on the skills required for the Industry.
Emphasising the need for emotional and social skills in a rapidly changing world, Naidu asked the students to develop a positive outlook towards life and seek to contribute to the larger cause of nation-building. “Strive constantly to use your education for the good of others, society and the nation at large,” he added.
Recalling India’s rich and illustrious history in education with institutions such as Takshashila and Nalanda, he called for regaining this past glory and make India Vishwaguru again. “The role of the private sector in supplementing the efforts of the Government becomes critical when it comes to realising the dream of an educationally empowered India,” he added.
Stressing the need to direct technological advancements towards mitigating the adverse impact on the environment and climate change, the Vice President opined that science and technology should provide solutions to the everyday problems of the common man and improve the overall quality of life.
The Vice President praised the SRM group in collaborating with the Government on clinical trials with respect to COVID-19, as also helping in affordable and necessary health care facilities to the population affected by the pandemic. Appreciating the vision and leadership of the founder of the group, Dr T. R. Paarivendhar, the Vice President said that the SRM group’s focus on quality education is in tune with the Government’s vision in laying the foundation for an Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Noting that many renowned scientists and national leaders including Nobel laureate Dr C. V. Raman, former Presidents of India Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and Dr R. Venkataraman studied at Tiruchirappalli, Shri Naidu hoped that the new SRM campus at Tiruchirappalli would add to the city’s star-studded crown. He suggested the institute prioritise the area of skill development keeping in view both national needs and local relevance.
Calling for bridging the rural-urban divide in education, he underlined the need for social support in a student-centred system of teaching and learning. “I would urge you to promote innovative instructional practices with an emphasis on independence and creativity. It is also vital to instil a spirit of voluntarism and community service among students”, he added.