The soft power of India is becoming a success story of the Indian youth, says Modi

The soft power of India is becoming a success story of the Indian youth, says Modi

New Delhi, June 30, 2023

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said Delhi University, now in its centenary year, should prepare the roadmap to figure among the top-ranking universities in the world by the time it celebrates 125 years.

Addressing the valedictory of the centenary celebrations of Delhi University, the Prime Minister referred to the international recognition for the “soft power” of India through its teachers and well-educated youth.

“This soft power of India is becoming a success story of Indian youth. Future-ready innovations should be done here, the world's best ideas and leaders should emerge from here, for this you will have to work continuously,” he said.

“The responsibility of preparing the mind and heart of a nation has to be fulfilled by its educational institutions,” he added. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that Delhi University will fulfil these resolutions while moving ahead.

“Our new generation should be future-ready, have the temperament to accept and face challenges. This is possible only through the vision and mission of the educational institutions” he added.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of the building for the Faculty of Technology, Computer Centre and Academic Blockt in the North Campus of the University. He released a commemorative centenary volume - Compilation of Centenary Celebrations; Logo Book - Logo of Delhi University and its colleges; Aura - 100 Years of University of Delhi.

Earlier, he took a metro ride to reach the University, interacting with the students during the journey. On arrival, he had a walkthrough of the exhibition “Journey of 100 Years”. He also witnessed ‘Saraswati Vandana’ and ‘University Kulgeet’ presented by the Faculty of Music and Fine Arts.

Addressing the gathering, he noted that the centenary was taking place at a time when India s celebrating “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” after completing 75 years of its independence. “The universities and educational institutions of any nation present a reflection of its achievements.

“In the 100-year-old journey of DU, there have been many historic landmarks connecting the lives of many students, teachers and others,” he added.

Noting the gathering of old and new alumni, the Prime Minister said that this is an occasion to catch up. “If during these hundred years, DU has kept its emotions alive, it has kept its values vibrant too”. Underscoring the importance of knowledge, he Minister noted that when India had vibrant universities like Nalanda and Takshila, it was at the peak of prosperity. “India’s rich education system is the carrier of India's prosperity”, he said, pointing to the high Indian share in the global GDP of that time. Continuous attacks during the period of slavery destroyed these institutions leading to the obstruction of the intellectual flow and bringing the growth to a standstill,” he added.

After Independence, universities played a crucial role in giving concrete shape to the emotional swell of post-independence India by creating a generation of talented youngsters. Delhi University too played a major part in it.

“This understanding of the past gives shape to our existence, shape to our ideals and expansion to the vision of the future,” he added.

“When the resolve of an individual or an institution is towards the country’s growth, then their achievements are equated with the achievements of the nation,” he said. The University during its inception had only three affiliated colleges that went up to more than 90 at present.

Noting that the number of women studying at DU is more than men, he said the gender ratio has significantly improved in the country. He emphasised the importance of an interconnection between the University and the nation. The deeper the roots of the educational institutions, the higher the progress of the country.

“The third decade of the last century gave new momentum to the struggle for India’s independence, now the third decade of the new century will give impetus to the development journey of India”, he said.

Referring to the large number of upcoming universities, colleges, IITs, IIMs and AIIMS, he said “All these institutes are becoming the building blocks of new India.”

Education is not merely a process of teaching but also a way of learning. After a long time, the focus is shifting to what a student wants to learn, he said referring to the flexibility in the new National Education Policy for selecting subjects.

Talking about the improvement of the quality and infusion of competitiveness among the institutions, her mentioned the National Institutional Ranking Framework which is motivating the institutions. He also pointed to efforts to link the autonomy of the institutions with the quality of education.

Due to the futuristic educational policies and decisions, recognition of Indian universities is increasing. While in 2014, in the QS world ranking there were only 12 Indian universities, today this number has reached 45. He credited India’s youth force as the guiding force for this transformation. The Prime Minister hailed today’s youth for transcending the concept of education being limited to placement and degrees. “They want to blaze their own trail with more than one lakh startups, 40% more patent filing as compared to 2014-15 and a rise in the Global Innovation Index as proof of this thinking.”

Referring to the deal on the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) with the USA during his recent visit, he said that it will create new opportunities for the youth of India in various sectors ranging from AI to semiconductors. “It will enable access to technologies which were once beyond the reach of our youth and enhance skill development. Companies like Micron, Google, Applied Materials etc. have decided to invest in India and it provides a glimpse of the bright future for the youth,” he added.

“The Industry 4.0 Revolution is knocking on India’s doors. Technologies like AI, AR and VR which could only be seen in the movies have now become a part of our real lives, he said. Robotics has become the new normal from driving to surgery and all these sectors are creating new avenues for the young generation.

In the past few years, India has opened its space and defence sector and made huge changes in the policies related to drones which have provided a chance to the youth to move forward.

The growing international profile of India, especially the help extended to several countries during the Covid pandemic, has created a curiosity to know more about India that delivers even during the crisis. Growing recognition through events like the G20 presidency is creating new avenues for students such as Yoga, Science, culture, festivals, literature, history, heritage and cuisine.

“Indian values like democracy, equality and mutual respect are becoming human values, creating new opportunities for Indian youth at fora like government and diplomacy,” he said.

The focus on history, culture and heritage is also creating new opportunities for the youth. He gave the example of tribal museums being set up in different states and the development journey of independent India being presented through the Prime Ministers Museum. The world's largest heritage museum ‘Yuge Yugeen Bharat’ is also going to be built in Delhi, he added.

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Delhi University Vice Chancellor Yogesh Singh were present on the occasion.

The University of Delhi was established on May 1, 1922. In the last hundred years, the University has grown and expanded immensely and now has 86 departments, 90 colleges and more than six lakh students.


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