Naidu also asked universities to prepare students to effectively deal with real-world challenges as he cited the example of the pandemic that caught all countries off-guard and unprepared.
“For those of you seeking to become job creators, there cannot be a better place to implement your business ideas than India right now,” Naidu said.
“We have to learn lessons from this pandemic, and experts need to come up with solutions to meet such threats in the future,” he added, addressing the 13th e-convocation of ICFAI University, Sikkim, via video-conferencing.
The vice president asked universities and educators to re-evaluate the education system to make it more value-based, holistic and complete, an official statement said.
He asked educators to take inspiration from the holistic Vedic education and understand the vision behind New Education Policy.
Quoting Rabindranath Tagore, Naidu said education without values is no education at all.
“Educational institutions and universities are expected to produce well-rounded and compassionate human beings and not mere degree holders,” he said, and rued often this aspect gets ignored in the race for pay cheques.
Citing the example of climate change, Naidu said the holistic solution to combat this challenge should include a value-based education that respects nature. He stressed on the need to equip engineers and technologists to create new defences and come up with innovative outside-the-box solutions to meet the challenges posed by extreme weather events.
No human intervention can totally withstand nature’s fury but we have to minimise its impact, he said.
Highlighting that values had always been emphasised in the ancient systems, the vice president said Vedas and Upanishads mandate our duties towards self, family, society and nature.
“We were taught to live in harmony with nature,” he emphasised.
Stressing on the importance of nature and culture in one’s life, the vice president asked students to learn from nature and follow the values enshrined in India’s ancient culture.
Appreciating the gurukul system, Naidu said, “Education was complete in all respects in ancient times, and this is what gave us our title of ‘Vishwa Guru’ at that time.”
He said the New Education Policy also envisages these ideals and aims at making India a “Vishwa guru” once again.
Underlining the paradigm shift envisaged in the New Education Policy, the vice president said it tries to do away with a segregated approach to education and replaces it with an integrated approach.
Describing the NEP as a “much needed reform”, he lauded it for its focus on multi-disciplinary method and efforts to reorient the research and the regulatory systems.
Stating that value-based education with proper synergy with technology was the need of the hour, Naidu said the country needs professionals who are not only well-versed with the latest technology, but are also empathetic and understanding.
He stressed that education founded in life values can ensure a long and prosperous career as people with such values will have high emotional intelligence and resilience to fight the adversities in life.