Addressing the annual convocation of Visva-Bharati University through video conferencing today, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who is the Chancellor of this Central University, said that the new ‘National Education Policy’ is a significant step towards a selfreliant India.

In order to find solutions to the ongoing problems, Modi appealed to the students’ community to adopt a “nation first” approach instead of being a part of the crisis

Praising the world view of poet-philosopher Rabindranath Tagore, Modi asked VisvaBharati students to help farmers and artisans of nearby villages find global markets. He said Guru Rabindranath Tagore had not envisioned the university as a typical educational institution but one that will help Indian culture realise its full potential globally.

He asked the institution’s students to prepare a 25-point vision document for the next 25 years that will lead all education establishments in the country to emulate it and enhance India’s image globally.

“A starting point could be that the students under mentorship of teachers of this inspirational institution begin helping farmers, artisans living in villages nearby to find global markets for their products. That will be a step towards building an ‘Atmanirbhar’ (self-reliant) Bharat,” he said.

He said Bengal can become an example of how unity can boost national growth and progress. “Bengal is an inspiration for Ek Bharat-Shreshth Bharat campaign. Visva Bharati will play a big role in the 21st-century knowledge economy, taking Indian knowledge and identity to every corner of the world. Students should prepare a vision document for the next 25 years about the 25 biggest goals of Visva Bharati in 2047,” he said.

He told the gathering that with knowledge comes responsibility and the knowledge attained by the students was not theirs alone but a legacy for future generations. “Your knowledge is not only yours but society’s… it is the heritage of the country. Your knowledge and skill can make a nation proud or push society into the darkness of slander and ruin,” he said.

Modi said some highly educated and skilled people were spreading terror and violence in the world, while others were toiling day and night to free people from a global epidemic like Covid-19. “It is not about ideology but the mindset, whether it is positive or negative,” he said.

Visva-Bharati University, situated at Birbhum’s Santiniketan was founded by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1921. It is one of the oldest Central Universities in the country. In May 1951, Visva-Bharati University was declared to be a Central University and ‘an Institution of National Importance’ by an Act of Parliament. The PM is the Chancellor of this university.

More than 2,500 students received their degrees in the convocation. Bengal Governor and Rector of Visva-Bharati, Jagdeep Dhankhar, Union Education Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and VBU vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty were present on this occasion.

(With input from PTI)