President Mukherjee call for more investment in educating country’s youth

New Delhi, Jan. 19 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said investment in educating the youth, would be the key to prepare them for nation-building.

The President was delivering his address through video conferencing on the topic ‘Youth and Nation-Building’ to students and faculty of institutes of higher learning and civil service academies from Rashtrapati Bhavan here today.

He said:”India is a nation with a significant young population. Over six hundred million people in our country are below the age of 25 years.For me, youth is much more than mere age. I place my faith in those who are curious and keen to learn; who are impatient and adventurous.and who have the potential to create and harness disruptive technologies for rapid growth. Investment in educating the youth, in the sharpening of their mental faculties, technical skills, professional competence, and awareness about their social responsibilities, would be the key to prepare them for nation-building.”

“When we talk of nation-building, the first thing we have to think of is what kind of nation we want to build? A blueprint for that cannot be some random sketch but a grand design based on values, hopes and aspirations of the people of the nation,” he added.

The President said that it is in this environment that the youth have to shoulder the responsibility of nation-building and must be readied for it through the medium of education and training.

“The education that we impart to our youth must have three clearly-defined goals. First, it must teach them to control their lives, which can be done through character-building, healthcare…Second, it must teach them to understand life through a study of history, science, religion and philosophy. And the third, it must teach them to enjoy their lives through friendships and relationships, observance of nature, and study of art and literature,” Mukherjee added.

President Mukherjee said value-based education must be provided to youth to inculcate in them the spirit of democratic behaviour which calls for an appreciation of the rich diversity of our nation, assimilation of ideas, and accommodation for divergent or contrarian views.

He also added that gender equality is essential for building an inclusive society.

“Unless women participate on equal terms and in equal numbers in the process of nation-building, all efforts will remain incomplete. ‘Respect for women’ is sacrosanct in our society with its roots embedded in our civilizational values, which are reflected in our Constitution. A spirit of reverence towards women must be instilled in our children in our homes and educational institutions. It must guide social conduct of an individual from an early age,” he added.

Mukherjee further marked that without socio-economic equity, the word “inclusion” has no meaning.

He said that India needs novel ideas and creative solutions to overcome challenges in the fields of education, skill development, sanitation and healthcare, financial inclusion and service provision.

“Putting a mobile phone in the hands of a person living in a remote village and teaching him to use it to access information, knowledge and services is a great act of empowerment. It gives true meaning to the word ‘inclusion’,” Mukherjee said.

“we all have to work together for building the India of our dreams and develop an eco-system which will bring together innovators, entrepreneurs and financiers, which will recognize merit and give primacy to science, technology and innovation,” he added.

Mukherjee also gave a checklist to work towards nation-building, i.e. “we produce more than we consume, we give more than we take, we work more than we idle, we think more than we talk”. (ANI)

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