New India will be innovation & knowledge hub: VP Naidu at Tagore Memorial Lecture

New Delhi: Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu, today said that creation of New India has to be an inclusive process and called upon the people to continuously strive towards its realization. Delivering the 6th Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Lecture, organized by the Shimla-based Indian Institute of Advanced Study in New Delhi, he said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has outlined a vision for ‘New India’ and endeavor to make a new vibrant India by 2022.

Observing that the aim was to uplift poor and downtrodden sections, Naidu said, “This is possible only if 1.25 billion Indians join this effort to create a ‘Sankalpit Bharat’, a ‘Sashakt Bharat’, a ‘Swachch Bharat’ and a ‘Shreshtha Bharat.’”

Recalling a similar vision shared by Rabindranath Tagore, Naidu quoted him as saying, “The real problem in India is that we must make the whole country a creation of our own. A creation in which all the communities and individuals will participate.”

Stating that it would be a day of glory and pride when India celebrates its 75 years of Independence in 2022, the VP said he was confident that New India would be an innovation and knowledge hub with promising young digitally-empowered entrepreneurs, technocrats, scientists and academics working in tandem to find indigenous solutions to various problems, from climate change to increasing agricultural productivity.

Referring to the institutions established by Rabindranath Tagore, he said that Santiniketan was an experiment to link education with life, connect students with nature, and develop a harmonious, well-rounded personality. “We need to bring in these elements of spontaneity, creativity, and aesthetic sensibility into the education system,” he added.

Paying tributes to Tagore, the VP said Rabindranath Tagore’s timeless vision has great relevance for India and the world even to this date.

Naidu said Tagore wrote prolifically and his views on various themes like education, nature, nationalism, internationalism, feminism, religion, language, caste system, reflect the astonishing range of his multi-faceted genius. “He was truly a Vishwa Kavi (universal poet), cast in the mold of ancient Vedic rishis who gave us the universal vision of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” he added.

The Vice President said one must note Tagore’s wise counsel on how we could revitalize Indian education by connecting to the grand tradition, drawing from the best minds and rediscovering strengths. Calling for protecting and promoting age-old Indian civilizational values, traditions and ethos, he stressed the need for a cultural renaiisance.

Mentioning that Tagore shared Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of Grama Swarajya, and that development of rural areas was a major step towards real freedom, the VP said Tagore echoed the Gandhian call for ‘constructive programme’ and rural upliftment, or Gram Swarajya, in his writings.

The Vice President said Tagore believed that knowledge was a key driver of the country’s transformation and therefore advocated that scientific research should help villagers improve the quality of their lives.

Quoting Tagore, he said, “The only way to change things is to apply our newly acquired knowledge of economics, agriculture, health, and all other everyday sciences in the neglected villages.”

Naidu also released a book titled ‘Swami Vivekananda – Hinduism and India’s Road to Modernity’ written by Prof. M. Paranjape.

The Chairman, Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Professor Kapil Kapoor; Member-Secretary of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Sachidanand Joshi; Director of IIAS, Professor Makarand R. Paranjape; and Secretary of IIAS, Dr VK Tiwar, were among the dignitaries present at the event.

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The ID Staff

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