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Bhubaneswar, Odisha : 07.09.2013

I am happy to be present here today on the occasion of the Convocation of the sixth batch of the students of Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM), at Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan’s Institute of Communication and Management, Bhubaneshwar.

Convocation is an important occasion marking the end of a vital phase in the life of a student. Today is a day of recognition when the success and achievement of this year’s graduating students is acknowledged - a success that is the result of perseverance and dedication. This will be an occasion which the students will remember fondly for the rest of their lives. It is also an important day for their family and friends as this achievement is one that is seldom managed without the support of the near and dear.

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan has been imparting quality education to over two lakh students through 395 institutions spread all over India. With a humble and modest beginning in 1938, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is now more than 75 years old. I had the honour and privilege of inaugurating its Platinum Jubilee celebrations at Mumbai on 12th December last year.

Since its inception in 1974, the Bhubaneswar Kendra of Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan has made important contributions in the field of education and culture. I am happy to know that it has been granting regular scholarships and stipends to poor students as well as imparting free computer education through the Gandhi Institute of Computer Training. I am also delighted that Bhavan’s Institute of Communication and Management (BCCM) is considered one of the premier institutions in eastern India. It is laudable that this Institute has emphasized not just academics but also personality development of students through the practice of yoga, sports, cultural activities and visits to foreign countries.

The founding of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan was one of the most important steps in a series of selfless efforts put in by Dr. K.M. Munshi in emancipating the citizenry of this nation. The founding of the Bhavan echoed his deeply entrenched belief in the instrument of education, which he was convinced, could offer wings for the growth and development of India. Dr. Munshi once observed and I quote – "India will once again be acknowledged as the vishwa guru – a superpower that embodies the ideals of vasudhaiva kudumbakam –the global family”. We as a nation need to strive hard to turn this dream into reality.

Our economy is currently facing a number of challenges. We must however remain confident that we will be able to overcome these hurdles. There may be areas of concern but there is absolutely no reason for despair or despondency. The fundamentals of the Indian economy continue to be strong. India has the necessary resources, talent and policies to effectively handle current difficulties.

Between 1900 and 1947 India’s economic growth was an annual average of 1%. From such depths we climbed, first, to 3% growth, and then took a quantum leap forward.

The last decade has seen India emerge as one of the fastest growing nations in the world. During this period, our economy grew annually at an average rate of 7.9 per cent. We are today self-sufficient in food grains production. In the Union Budget for 2010-11 a strategy for increased agricultural production, under which ‘Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India’ (BGREI) programme was formulated for implementation. Farmers in the selected clusters adopted good agricultural practices and benefitted from the yield advantage of hybrid rice technology. Of the total rice production of 104 million tonnes in the country in 2011-12, a record production of 55 million tonnes of rice was contributed by the Eastern region. India is today the largest exporter of rice and second largest exporter of wheat in the world. The record production of 18.45 million tonnes of pulses this year augurs well for our march towards self-sufficiency in pulses. This was unthinkable just a few years ago. This momentum has to be sustained. In a globalized world, with increasing economic complexities, we have to learn to cope better with adversities, both external and domestic.

The recent depreciation of the rupee, which is more than eighteen per cent during the last one year; high food inflation; and a drop in manufacturing activity, are matters of concern. Global factors have affected the currencies of many emerging economies including India. Stabilizing the rupee is engaging the attention of our policy makers. Number of steps has been taken to strengthen our external sector. A good monsoon this year should have a favourable impact on agricultural growth and food prices. Though growth has slowed down in recent times, the fundamentals of our economy remain strong. Steps are being taken to contain the fiscal deficit and boost industrial investments. I am confident of our economic growth being restored to the high levels seen in the past.

For India’s political and economic stability, it is important that we have truly "inclusive” growth which benefits each and every citizen of the country, especially the marginalized sections and those at the base of the socio-economic pyramid.

As managers you will in future be key catalysts in India’s growth story. Effective management and determined minds are critical in ensuring the rapid development of our nation. Knowledge of the theory and application of business management imparted to you by the Institute tempered with real life experience will soon create successful managers out of you.

However, in the quest for climbing the ladders of competition; the basic principles of business ethics, constructive motivation, corporate social responsibility and corporate governance should not be forgotten. These principles should be inculcated into every sphere of management, as they are essential for effective and sustainable development.

As students of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, you should always keep in mind India’s core civilizational values. Your primary goal should be to transform society and not salaries or profits. Sometimes there will be setbacks in life. Your own colleagues and friends may let you down. But it is in such situations that the training provided to you by institutions like the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan will stand you in good stead. You must face adverse situations with fortitude and be confident that in the end truth alone triumphs. As our national motto states "Satyameva Jayate”.

Education is a necessary tool for national progress, human empowerment and social change. You must understand that considerable resource, effort and sacrifice have gone into your education. Society has invested in you and society can legitimately demand a dividend from you. You can pay this dividend by helping those who are weak, needy and deprived. The destiny of our nation will be shaped by the will power, initiative and ingenuity of the youth.

Swami Vivekananda once observed and I quote "All knowledge, that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the Universe, is in our own mind.” Quest for knowledge and sharing of wisdom with others will help eliminate darkness in society and take both the mind and soul forward towards enlightenment. In the Bhagavad Gita, sharing of knowledge has been termed as: "Sarva Shrestha Punya”, the holiest of all blessings. The dedication of the Ramkrishnan Knowledge Centre, named after Dr. Munshi’s able and trusted lieutenant Shri Ramkrishnan to the public today is a major contribution by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in this regard.

As you pass out of the portals of your esteemed institution, I urge you to achieve the following five milestones in order to play a meaningful role in society.

• Be a good human being and a good citizen

• Be positive all the time in thought, action and deed.

• When obstacles come, stay calm and overcome them with perseverance and determination.

• Always dream because dreamers are creators

• Try to be always innovative and understand the infinite power of innovation and creativity which lies dormant inside you. Remember that Innovation is the key to progress and prosperity for our nation.