Era of strict segregation of subjects is over: adopt multidisciplinary approach in higher education – Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi : The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that the era of strict segregation of subjects is over and called for adopting a multidisciplinary approach in higher education to produce well-rounded individuals and better research outcomes. He also emphasised the need to give equal importance to humanities in our science and technology institutions.

Inaugurating the new campus of Sant SohirobanathAmbiye Government College of Arts and Commerce in Pernem, Goa today, the Vice President said that exposure to arts and social sciences is known to increase creativity, improve critical thinking and enhance communication skills among students. “These qualities are in high demand in the 21st-century economy where no sector of the economy works in a silo,” he added.

Stressing the need to produce world class researchers not just in sciences but also in social sciences, languages and in the fields of commerce & economy, Shri Naidu praised the Government of Goa for setting up Commerce and Economic laboratories and Language labs in several institutes in the state.

Describing commerce as an important area in our quest to make India a five trillion-dollar economy, the Vice President drew attention to the rapid changes happening in this discipline after the advent of e-Commerce. “I would urge you to conduct research in these emerging areas in commerce to make India a leading nation in trade and commerce at the global stage,” he told the faculty and students present on the occasion.

Recalling that ancient India was home to several renowned institutions of advanced learning such as Nalanda, Vikramshila and Takshashila, Shri Naidu said that we have to regain the past glory and make India a leading nation in the field of education, research and innovation.

Expressing the need to teach younger generation about India’s glorious past and rich cultural heritage, the Vice President stressed the need to come out of colonial mindset and Indianize our education system. He said that we should learn and accept good things from anywhere in the world, but at the same time, must remain firmly rooted in Indian civilizational values. Students should be taught about the liberation of Goa and sacrifices made by many great men and women for it, he added.

Lauding the state of Goa for its natural and cultural richness, Shri Naidu called for the preservation and protection of the both. He also emphasised the need to promote the mother tongue in the school level education.

Stating that innovation is a key driver of the growth, the Vice President said that India with its edge in ICT and an educated young population has the potential to become a world leader in the knowledge-based economy. “We need to create the right ecosystem for research and innovation to thrive in our universities and higher education institutions,’ he said and urged the Vice Chancellors of various universities and educationists to give the needed thrust to research in tune with the objectives with the New Education Policy–2020. He praised the Government of Goa for its plans to set up Goa State Research Foundation to promote research work in multidisciplinary projects.

Highlighting the importance of higher education, the Vice President said that it prepares students for more meaningful and productive roles and plays an important role in improving the standards of living. Quality higher education is invariably a hallmark of all developed economies, he further added.

Praising the state of Goa for performing well in the field of higher education, Shri Naidu appreciated the state for having the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher education for women at 30% against the national average of 27.3 %. Lauding the state for having a higher number of female students than the male students in higher education, he said “this is a very good sign and must serve as an inspiration to other states.”

Complimenting the Government of Goa for making efforts to provide holistic education for all, the Vice President said that the governments should invest in creating latest educational infrastructure so that the poor and underprivileged are also able to receive quality education at affordable rates. He also exhorted the students and teachers to recognize emerging opportunities and upgrade their skills to face the 21st century world and to make ‘a New India – a strong, stable and prosperous India’.

The Vice President expressed happiness that Pernem College has steadily progressed over the years and hoped that the expanded facilities at the college will benefit rural students from the area. He also praised the college for its focus on sports for all round development of the students and asked the faculty and students to always keep the bar high and strive for excellence in their chosen field.

Observing that nature must be not be neglected in the quest for development, Shri Naidu said a butterfly and a garden are as important as the latest IT tools. “That is why I always advocate the need for students to spend half of their time in the classroom and the remaining half in the playground or in the lap of nature,” he said and advised youth to avoid sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy dietary habits and consumption of harmful substances. It is important to remain physically fit by undertaking regular exercises or yoga, the Vice President told them.

Stating that the state of Goa and its people hold a special place in his heart, Shri Naidu said that he feels re-energized whenever he visits the beautiful place. Noting that many eminent Indian personalities were either born in Goa or trace their roots to this naturally beautiful and culturally vibrant state, he quoted 18th century poet saint from Pernem, Sant SohirobnathAmbiye who said – “do not ever extinguish the lamp of knowledge in your heart.”

The Governor of Goa, Shri P. S. Sreedharan Pillai,Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramod Sawant, the Union Minister of state for Tourism, Shri Shripad Naik, Deputy Chief Minister, Shri BabuAzgaonkar, Chief Secretary of Goa, Shri Parimal Rai, people’s representatives from the area, teachers and students were among those present on the occasion.