The country is in the midst of a dramatic change and decisions taken today will influence not just the immediate future but perhaps the rest of the century, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Saturday. Speaking at the platinum jubilee celebration of Karnatak Law Society and Raja Lakahamgouda Law College here, Kovind said the aspirations of the country’s youth were changing fast.
“We have a young, talented population and an exciting economy brimming with opportunities. In the previous quarter, our GDP grew at 8.2 per cent, which indicates our pace as well as our potential,” Kovind said. “With the fourth industrial revolution upon us, how we live and work is changing so are the aspirations of our young people,” he added. In this context, the President said that the educational institutions must become compatible with the quest for innovation and excellence.
The government, he said, was taking steps to facilitate this and the process of overhauling the regulatory framework for higher education and upgrading it to meet contemporary needs was underway. “I am confident it will bear fruit soon,” he said. He said graded autonomy had been granted to 60 top universities, and a decision had also been taken to promote 20 institutions of higher education as ‘institutes of eminence’ to grant them recruitment and curricula flexibility in order to reach best-in-class global standards. After a competitive process, the first few of these institutes of eminence were announced recently, he said.
The President further said the law of nature teaches everyone discipline and orderliness, and the law that humans write is the basis of civilisation. “Law is not a career, it is a calling. Much more than a means to earn a livelihood, it is a mechanism to assist the cause of justice to help the poorest and most unfortunate among us, and to build a society and nation defined by adherence to rules, norms and fairness,” he said. Advocates and judges are, in the ultimate analysis, seekers of truth, he said, adding that many lawyers were part of the national movement. Citing the names of Mahatma Gandhi and B R Ambedkar, Kovind called them “lawyers with a spirit for public service”.