Convocation addresses delivered by President Pranab Mukherjee will be compiled and published by the HRD ministry in a ‘guru dakshina’ to him, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said on Sunday. Felicitating Mukherjee, who was a teacher before plunging into politics in 1969, on the occasion of ‘Guru Purnima’, Javadekar said his life was an “exemplary” record of calibre, capacity and conduct. He said Mukherjee represented all the teachers in the country. “By felicitating Mukherjee, we are honouring all the teachers of this country,” the human resource development minister said.
At the inauguration of three digital initiatives in the education sector — Swayam, Swayam Prabha and National Academic Depository on Sunday, Javadekar presented a small bag to Mukherjee containing a slate and stationery.
“Since I called him a teacher, there will be ‘guru dakshina’ (homage to a guru) as well. We will publish compilation of his convocation addresses to various universities so that students can enlighten themselves from his valuable observations,” he said.
Swayam aims at taking the best teaching-learning resources to all. Under Swayam Prabha, the government plans to telecast high-quality educational programmes through 32 DTH channels.
The National Academic Depository will facilitate online verification of certificates.
Javadekar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi too was a “great political teacher”.
“We learn from him everyday. How to think out of the box, we learn from him. Round the clock, he keeps thinking about the development of the country, ‘antyodaya’…,” he said.
Javadekar said the government would come up with integrated B.Ed courses so that students were able to decide after Class 12 on becoming teachers. They can take such integrated courses with graduation in a subject of their choice.
He said the government would ensure that teaching profession was not seen as the last career choice of the youths.
Javadekar said education expanded in the country in the past 70 years through the efforts of various governments.
“The British did not want it. But we have done it. Now using digital technology, it needs to be taken further,” he said.
Mukherjee’s term as the president will end on July 25. This will be an end of his active public life of about five decades.
The 81-year-old Mukherjee, who started his career as a lecturer in a college in West Bengal, retains his love for his favourite subject — history. It reflected in the renovation of the President House Library in which various rare and historical books were restored.