Kasaragod: The National Education Policy (NEP) of 2020 is a well-planned roadmap to develop an ecosystem that will nurture the talent of the country's young generation, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Tuesday.
Delivering his speech at the 5th Convocation of the Central University of Kerala at the Periya campus here, Kovind said the NEP aims to prepare the students for the world of tomorrow, while also equipping them with the best of India's own traditions.
"India is, after all, the land of Nalanda and Takshshila, of Aryabhata, Bhaskaracharya and Panini. Gandhiji compared the indigenous educational system with a beautiful tree that perished under colonialism. An effort is being made to rediscover its best aspects so that India makes a contribution to the world that it alone is destined to make," Kovind said.
The President said the most outstanding feature of the NEP is that it aims to promote both inclusion and excellence.
Kovind said through its varied curriculum, NEP promotes liberal as well as professional education, because each stream of knowledge has a role to play in society and in nation-building.
"That way, the NEP can become instrumental for India to harness and reap the demographic dividend," he added.
He said the country's growing population makes it "incumbent upon us to nurture the next generation talent." "When the younger generation is provided with skills and knowledge required for success in the world of the twenty-first century, they can do miracles," he said.
Praising Kerala, Kovind said it has led the other states on critical parameters of literacy and education, enabling it to be a leading state on several other parameters of excellence too.
The President also pointed out that the Union Government has recommended names of three cities from the entire country for being listed in UNESCO's Global Network of Learning and two of them are from Kerala.
"These two cities are Thrissur and Nilambur. Being part of this Global Network supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially the goal of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting life-long learning opportunities for all," he said.
He said as far as gender equity is concerned, Kerala not only has favourable sex ratio, but has also been at the forefront of women empowerment.
"I am not surprised at all that all the three gold medal winners in today's convocation happen to be our daughters. I am also glad to note that the number of daughters who have received degrees is nearly thrice the number of boys. I have been told that our daughters constitute 64 per cent of the total number of students in the university," he said.
He said he has been observing the growing empowerment of women through education in other parts of the country also.
"In this empowerment-through-education of our daughters, I see the India of the future which will become a knowledge power with rich contribution from our daughters," Kovind said. He handed over gold medals to three graduates.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and State Local Self Government and Excise Minister M V Govindan also attended the event.
After the event, the President flew to Kochi and was welcomed by government officials. Kovind is accompanied by his wife Savitha Kovind and daughter Swathi. The first family will stay at the Taj Malabar resort.
The President will witness the operational demonstration of the naval officers of the Southern Naval Command on Wednesday. He will also visit IAC Vikrant.
The President will leave for Thiruvananthapuram on December 23 to take part in various programmes there and will return to New Delhi on December 24.
Opposition voice protest
Earlier in the day, Kasaragod MP and Congress leader Rajmohan Unnithan and Udma MLA and Left leader C K Kunhambu voiced their protest against the CUK for not inviting them for the function and said it was a protocol violation.
Unnithan said not inviting him for the convocation, even though he represents the area in Parliament, is a breach of protocol.
"Without following any protocol, the event has been turned into a completely saffronised event involving only BJP representatives. This is objectionable and completely undemocratic," the Kasaragod MP said.
Kunhambu has written to the Vice Chancellor of the University expressing displeasure over not being invited to the programme scheduled to be held in his Udma assembly constituency.
"I was not informed about the event to be attended by the President, in the district," he said.
However, university authorities said the decision on the invitees was taken by the security and protocol officers.