Home >> Press Releases >> Press Release Detail


Rashtrapati Bhavan : 15.09.2013

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has called for the need to do our utmost to make the dreams and ideals of Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar a reality through unswerving dedication to the cause of education, social reforms and betterment of society. He was delivering the 7th Vidyasagar Memorial Lecture at Vidyasagar University in Medinipur, West Bengal today (September 15, 2013).

Speaking on the topic ‘The relevance of Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s life and message to contemporary society’ the President called upon the teachers and the enlightened sections of the society to play a vital role in the spread of education. He said that the society has invested in each educated person through the education system and programmes. In turn, the educated persons also have a responsibility to the country and its people.

The President also referred to the fact of no Indian University having found a place among the top 200 world-class universities and called for introspection by all concerned. We have to think as to what is lacking and what we have failed to put together to get the desired result despite of having no lack of talented teachers and students, the President said. India dominated the educational system the world over for about 1800 years starting from the 6th century BC.

Paying glowing tributes to Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, the President said that in spreading education from primary to higher levels, Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar carried the mantle of Rammohan Roy. He realized the importance and need of secular education along with scientific temper and of absorbing the fruits of Western civilization without forgetting our own culture or being swayed by the West. His progressive outlook was motivated by compassion and personal experiences. Despite strong opposition from conservative forces, he continued his struggle for widow re-marriage and practiced what he preached by encouraging his son, Narayan, to marry a widow.

Voicing concern over various social aberrations, the President said the Government alone cannot do everything to correct the situation. There is urgent need for new and widespread public mobilization aimed at gender sensitization. We need to introspect on the sad decline in our moral values and reflect on how we can reset our moral compass, the President observed. He said that, to stem social degradation, educational institutions have a primary responsibility of inculcating our core civilizational values like respect for women in the students.

The President, on this occasion, laid the foundation stone of the Administrative building of the Vidyasagar University.

This release issued at 2005 hrs