August 28, 2011
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore
“The guiding principle of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, education for life and education for living,* blends spirituality and the ancient Indian values system with the conventional education of today’s world,” stated Padma Shri Dr. Srikumar Banerjee, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India.
Dr. Banerjee was at our Headquarters addressing the 4298 young men and women who had assembled from all five Amrita campuses viz. Amritapuri, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Mysore and Kochi for convocation.
The eminent scientist recalled India’s ancient contributions, also laying forth her recent accomplishments in science and technology.
“The wealth of ancient wisdom is the true wealth of India. The Vedas, the Upanishads, a glorious learning system, great discoveries in the fields of astronomy, mathematics and medicinal sciences are all part of our heritage. The decimal system was developed in India. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta. Bhaskaracharya calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the sun hundreds of years before the astronomer William Smart.”
“Achievements of post independent India are in no way minimal. India today enjoys a dominant global role in steelmaking and automotive sectors, an unquestioned global leadership in information technology and service industries and marvelous successes in space technology. Today India has the fourth largest pharmaceutical industry in the world. It is the second largest manufacturer of tractors and the fifth largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles. Besides, it is one of the largest producers of milk, food grains and fruit.”
He alerted graduating students to the challenges ahead.
“Today, more than anything else, nation-building has become a task of utmost importance for all of us,” he said. “Self-reliance is the first and foremost step towards nation building. In mundane terms, this translates to achieving security in energy, food, shelter, basic education, clean and abundant water, clean environment and quality healthcare for everyone.”
“Imparting good holistic education can be considered to be one of the most important cornerstones of nation building,” he noted, emphasizing the special role that Amrita graduates will play in solving societal problems.
Graduating students were conferred MBBS, MD, MCh, BTech, MTech, MS, BCA, MCA, BSc, MSc, BPharm, MPharm, BBM, MBA, BCom, MCom, BA, MFA, MSW and BEd degrees.
Eleven students received doctoral degrees, including Raju Narayanaswamy, IAS, Secretary of Youth Affairs Department, Government of Kerala.
All graduates pledged to uphold the ideals of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. Top students were honored with medals and certificates.
Emotional adieus and words of farewell marked the rest of the day as graduates looked back with nostalgia at their years in Amrita. For many, it was not just about the completion of a course or getting a degree. It was an ode to years of transformation … the years in Amrita that had helped shaped their characters and dreams … that had given them an education both for life and living.
* Chancellor Amma often distinguishes between an education for life and education for living. “There are two types of education: education for a earning a living and education for life,” she says. “When we study in college, striving to become a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer, that is education for a living. But education for life requires an understanding of the essential principles of spirituality; it is about gaining a deeper understanding of the world, our minds, our emotions and ourselves.”
VC Addresses Graduating Students