06 Dec , Gangtok (IPR/SRM) : Sri Ramasamy Memorial University (SRM University), Sikkim is a State Private University functioning is the hills of Gangtok since 2014. This year the University has successfully completed its three years, paving way for the first batch of students to graduate. With utmost gratification SRM University Sikkim held its first Convocation on 6.12.2017 at Chintan Bhavan, to confer degrees on the students passed out in the academic sessions 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. More than 100 students belonging to School of Information Technology and School of Management and Commerce graduated from the Institute. 17 students comprising of 6 First Rank, 6 Second Rank and 5 Third Rank were awarded with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals respectively.
Shri Pawan Chamling, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim graced the function as the Chief Guest and also delivered the Convocation Address. He inspired the students to explore the knowledge, build creativity and sharpen the intellect. Dr Chamling also advised the gathering to inculcate good thinking and dignity of labour like that of the West. He reiterated on the point that one should not only have high Degrees but also imbibe greater human values so that one can come up in life not only intellectually but holistically.
SRM University Sikkim also conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Doctor of Literature (D.Litt) on Shri Pawan Chamling, honouring his tremendous contribution towards the development of the State.
The function also witnessed the presence of Shri. Shriniwas Patil, I.A.S. (Retd), Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim as the Visitor of SRM University, Sikkim who also presided over the Convocation. The Governor, in his addressed congratulated the graduands and motivated them to be worthy alumni gaining enormous experiences to face the future challenges of life. He also advised them to be skilled and worthy of self-employment and not to become dependent on the Government sector for vocation.
The Founder Chancellor of SRM University, Dr T.T Paarivendhar, delivered the special address. He lovingly shared the secret of success as possession of 5 C’s denoting Confidence, Courage, Commitment, Continuity and Communication. He also emphasized that among many things required for the development of a place, primary requirement is Education and one should always try to value it.
The President of SRM Trust, Dr R.P. sathyanarayanan, was also present for the Convocation and delivered the welcome address. The event witnessed the presence of Hon. Minister, HRDD and Hon. Minister Health, Government of Sikkim, Secretaries of all Government Departments, Officials from the Police Force and many more.
ACCEPTANCE AND CONVOCATION ADDRESS FOR SRM ON
6TH DECEMBER 2017
Your Excellency Respected Shri Sriniwas Patil Sahab, respected Dr. T.R. Paarivendhar, Founder Chancellor of SRM University, respected Dr. Sathyanarayanan, President, SRM University, respected Dr.T.P. Ganesan, Chancellor, SRM University, Sikkim, respected Dr.N. Sethuraman, Vice Chancellor, SRM University, Board Members of SRM University, Registrar, Faculty and students of SRM University, Hon’ble Speaker, my Cabinet colleagues, MLAs, Chief Secretary, distinguished guests.
It is indeed an honour and privilege for me to address the first set of students graduating from the SRM University, Sikkim today. A University is defined as an Institution of higher education and research but it is not just that. A university is a space for exploration and growth and the building of learning in areas which might be your life’s work. It is a space where you build character and sharpen your intellect.
Education is a great leveler and is the core of any society. We deeply understand the importance of education in the process of future-making and shaping the new generation, not only in what they chose to do but what kind of human beings they become and how far they push society in the human agendas of peace and goodness. That is why, right from the beginning of our government in 1994, we have made education our topmost priority. We have invested deeply in education in Sikkim and we have a strong commitment and mission to do so even in the future.
Education enables individuals to rise to a higher level of intellect and become better human beings. Conversely, it is the responsibility and duty of the University to produce well informed, motivated and cultured citizens for the Nation. But sadly, our contemporary education is becoming increasingly degree-oriented. I have always been an advocate for life-oriented education and that is the message I take every opportunity to share. Education’s primary objective is not just making students professionally successful but to also help students become morally good and decent human beings. That is precisely because education has a direct bearing on society. A highly educated person with many academic degrees but no basic human virtue of goodness adds little to the exercise of building society. A successful man or a woman without goodness can be disastrous. They use their power to serve their own selfish interests at the cost of harming society.
Another disturbing trend we have noticed is the tendency of people from developing countries to blindly imitate the west, particularly the developed world. We blindly follow their lifestyles and in the process, we have become their blind consumers of clothes, fashion, music, movies, electronic gadgets, junk food etc.
What we should have adopted from the west is their thinking which forms the foundation of their development. In the developed world, honesty, hard work and dignity are values that are upheld in society. That’s why they uphold dignity of labour. This is the key to advancement. Former President Obama’s daughter Sasha served at a restaurant for her summer job. In the US, children after 18 do not just live off their parents’ income. University girls and boys usually work at part time jobs whether it is at groceries stores, cafes, internships etc. No one is ashamed to do his/her job. These are the values we need to inculcate in ourselves – the values of hard work, self-reliance and dignity of labour.
Let me emphasize the enormous value of honest hard work. We should be proud of how hard we can work. We should be proud of whatever we do. We must celebrate our jobs. That is dignity of labour. For example, in Japan, they have tremendous respect for each other, they respect hard work, punctuality and they respect the country where they live. Simply being consumers of western products and trends without the values of self-respect and respect for other human beings is bound to harm society.
Whenever I meet students I look at them to understand their commitment to human values that they have and practice. I keenly want to see university students who are not only excellent academicians but who are examples of the human values of goodness and justice. I am sure there certainly are such students in our midst here and I am sure that they will shape our future.
The entire world is blindly running after “success”. However, we need to pause and define success. What is success? In my years of public service, I have realized that success is not about achieving a life of happiness for yourself. It is not just accomplishing one’s personal goals. Success is only complete when it brings happiness and value to your friends, to society, to your village and your communities. True success is not limited to your own happiness but it expands and grows to benefit others too. When I make a difference in other people’s lives, that to me is real success. I therefore call upon young minds here in the university to join this mission of redefining ‘success’ and let us work for the cause of benefitting our fellow beings. Let our success help others achieve their success.
Let me take this opportunity to quickly take you back to the historical background of Sikkim’s education system. When we joined the Union of India in 1975, the rest of India had already enjoyed almost three decades of democratic dividends. Sikkim had untold challenges ahead. And the most important challenge was the academic crisis as education was a privilege of a few Sikkimese people.
When I first took over the administration of the state as the Chief Minister of Sikkim, the education scenario was not encouraging. There was an enormous need for educational institutions at all levels, especially in higher education. At that time, there was just one regular college and one Night College for law students. There was not a single University in the State. I then resolved to change the face of Sikkim education completely. I dared to dream big to make education freely available for all the children of poor parents living across the state.
Today, I am delighted to inform you that there are over 780 government schools and 12 government colleges in Sikkim and that education is free up to the graduation level. There are five private colleges and two polytechnic colleges in the state. We have built an Agriculture Engineering College, a Pharmacy college, a Sanskrit College and the Ayus College. Sikkim today has one Central University and four Private Universities and the Sikkim State University will start from the next academic session. We are now on the threshold of Sikkim as a fully literate State. Our education related spending is also the highest in the country with the expenditure of Rs. 75,000 per student. We are fully committed and we want to convert the State into an education hub. For we must build strong education systems to ensure all people have an equal opportunity at life.
The coming to this esteemed university is a part of this whole envisioning for equal opportunity. The SRM group has a very strong presence in the country and their decision to establish a University in Sikkim is a major boost to many aspiring students here. The Government of Sikkim is extending all the support required by them in fulfilling the norms of the regulators. SRM University here has already won the hearts of the people by imparting high quality education. I am sure they will contribute greatly to the Sikkimese society as a center for learning of international stature.
We have established several green and clean industries in Sikkim, our airport is to be functional soon and we are working on other means of transportation also. Once these issues are resolved, our campuses will be open to our neighboring states too. That will pave way for multi-cultural campuses operating here. SRM University, Chennai has the unique distinction of having students from all over India including students from Sikkim.
Technical or professional education is the order of the day and our students need to be deeply exposed to that. Here I would like to quote what Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, former President of India said “A life of joy and happiness is possible only on the basis of Science and Technology. The end product of education should be a free and creative man”. Knowledge is the foundation, on which India needs to build and grow. However, along with knowledge, each individual also must grow into individuals who can think freely and creatively. To enable this, the State Government is ready to cooperate with SRM in establishing technical programmes and the necessary infrastructure so that we support highly intellectual young minds who think freely.
However, today is your day, my fellow students and I congratulate you for completing your studies from a very reputed institution and I am sure that you have grown academically, spiritually and socially. You embark on another phase in life’s journey today and I hope that you will take the learnings from this institution and apply it to your daily life and to society. My hope is that you leave empowered with the realization that each and every one of you are powerful enough to create change and empower others in society.
You are also leaving this institution and embarking as active agents in society at a time when the world is passing through turbulent times. Global warming is a reality and our world is wounded by war and hunger in several countries. Humanity has created a situation where our mountains and glacial bodies melting, our air is poisoned and we are led by violent consumerism. Our own doing has posed a great threat to the survival of humanity itself. My hope is that each one of you become harbingers of a future where there is peace and justice in the world and where mother earth thrives under our care.
I want to congratulate the SRM Management, the Vice-Chancellor, the Registrar and all the teaching and non-teaching community of SRM University, Sikkim, for having built this university as an institution of learning and I am sure that it will continue to grow and inspire new generations of Sikkimese society. Once again my best wishes to the new graduates and other students of this University.
With these thoughts, I extend my sincere thanks to respected Dr. T. R. Paarivendhar, Founder Chancellor of SRM University, who has worked hard against all odds and difficulties nurturing the University and bringing it to where it is today. I also thank respected Dr. Sathyanarayanan, President, SRM University, respected Dr. T.P. Ganesan, Chancellor, SRM University, Dr. N. Sethuraman, Vice Chancellor, SRM, University, Sikkim, the Board of Management and Your Excellency Respected Shri Sriniwas Patil Sahab for conferring upon me the Post Doctoral degree Doctor in Literature, an honour for which I am deeply grateful. This honour also extends to the people of Sikkim who have entrusted me with the responsibility to lead the state as their Chief Minister and I extend my deepest gratitude for this and dedicate this honor to the people of Sikkim.
My best of wishes to all the graduating students for a very bright future ahead. Let us work to build an empowered Sikkim together. Thank you
Jai Hind …