Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Friday expressed concern over discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, region and gender in certain parts of the country and urged the student community to work towards the eradication of such social evils.
“This caste has no meaning. It has no social relevance,” the Vice President said, addressing students and teachers of Sacred Heart College, Thevara, here.
Addressing the function, organised as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the college, Naidu said, discrimination on the basis of caste, religion and region was not acceptable at all.
“So all of us should work in the eradication of these social evils–still prevalent in certain sections, certain areas,” he said. “We are all Indians, who should feel proud that we are Indians– irrespective of caste, creed, religion and region. India is one–one nation,” Naidu said.
Naidu said it was imperative that equity be safeguarded and promoted in higher education besides ensuring inclusion of women, minorities, and differently abled persons, providing them a barrier free higher education environment. He said education was not only for employment but for enlightenment, enhancement of knowledge and empowerment.
Education should aim at the holistic development of all faculti es of ‘head’, ‘hand’ and ‘heart’. “It should provide the knowledge, skills and attitude required for the 21st century,” Naidu added.
Speaking about India’s stature as ‘Vishwaguru’ to the world, the Vice President said scholars, students and knowledge seekers from all over the world came to the great universities of Nalanda and Takshashila in search of knowledge and wisdom. He said education was the foundation for growth and development, both of individuals and society.
Highlighting the importance of research and development, Naidu said “We should strive to create an enabling atmosphere in higher educational institutions to promote research and innovations.” Education would flourish only when all those with a stake in its success work closely together, the Vice President said.
He urged civil society groups, community organisations, parents, teacher associations, professional bodies, women and youth groups to work together to strengthen education.
The Vice President also emphasised the need for promoting the mother tongue. “Whatever is your mother tongue, promote your mother tongue, we should encourage our native languages first, we should encourage, promote and propagate our mother tongue,” he said. Kerala Governor P Sathasivam presided.
The Vice President also distributed kindle tablets to seven educational institutions donated by K V Thomas Vidyadhanam Trust, a charitable organisation.