Oct 7, 2009
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore
Today, Wednesday, October 7, 2009 saw Amrita Vishwa Vidhyapeetham’s sixth convocation, hosted on the sprawling greens of its Coimbatore campus.
Speaking on the occasion, Swami Prajnanamritananda Puri enlightened students about life, the importance of education, the futility of chasing money and the unreasonable amount of importance it usually occupies in one’s life. “Profession or money is not everything in life. It is only one aspect of life,” he told the assembled gathering.
The Chief Guest of the occasion was Shri R. Chandrashekhar, Secretary, Department of IT, Ministry of Communication and Information. He expressed his joy to be present among the graduating class of students and proclaimed his admiration for Amma and Amrita.
“Education is what is left after you have forgotten what is learned,” he told the students. In his address, he highlighted the fact that the confidence in our younger generation is higher than ever before and this confidence is reflected in India’s new surge in innovation, research and Information Technology.
“Negative factors like poor infrastructure are bogging us down, however,” he added. He advised the young graduates to develop awareness about society. “Currently India is only contributing a very small part to the world’s GDP,” he told them. “India will have to counter its poverty of infrastructure, its small number of number of PhDs and few research publications. Students need to become responsive to the needs of society, rather than only chase higher salaries. The education that you have received here will help the country overcome the emerging paradoxes.”
Over 2720 students from all Amrita campuses — Amritapuri, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Kochi and Mysore received their degree certificates. About 200 rank holders were awarded medals and rank certificates. Three candidates received doctoral degrees.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Brahmachari Abhayamrita Chaitanya. Pro-Chancellor of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, had spoken at length about the growth of Amrita over the years. “The main aim of the institution is to push the frontiers of education and inculcate humanity in students,” he had asserted.
Dr. P. Venkat Rangan, Vice-Chancellor of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, had provided an overview of important milestones that had been crossed by Amrita on its way to achieving world-class status. He had detailed the institution’s partnership with the European Commission (EC) for developing India’s first-ever wireless sensor network system for landslide detection.
The highlight of the event was the special address through video-conferencing by the 2001 Noble Laureate in Medicine, Dr. Lee Hartwell from Seattle, USA.
“I have come to believe that Amrita students have a special place in the world,” he said, in his address. “In addition to the objective world of matter, there exists the subjective world of feelings, emotions, thoughts, the values and spiritual aspirations based upon them. You have a special place because Amrita has a confluence of both the western and eastern traditions built into its education.” (Read Complete Speech)
Dr. Ramesh Ramachandran, President and CEO of Dow Chemical International, also spoke. He peppered his speech with interesting anecdotes from his institution days, evoking much laughter from the audience. He reminded the graduates that as they stepped into the professional world, the major challenge confronting them, would be climate change. “Planting trees alone, will hardly do,” he cautioned. “Embrace the conflict between what you want to do for yourself and what you want to do for society.”
Dr. S. Krishnamoorthy, Registrar; Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director; Deans and Principals of Amrita Schools also spoke on the occasion. Swami Prajnanamritananda Puri administered the oath to all students to uphold the ideals of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and serve society.