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Address at the Annual Prize Distribution Function
of Dyal Singh College, University of Delhi 
on 12 March 2010


Principal Dr Inderjeet Singh Bakshi, learned colleagues, dear students, guests and members of the administrative staff and others present at the function.

My presence at the Annual Prize Distribution function of your college is a mere coincidence. I am aware, generally heavy weight bureaucrats from Ministry of HRD, UGC or influential University dons are invited to grace such occasions. But I am one of you. 

It is hardly two months, when Dr Bakshi met me at an International Conference on Interfaith Dialogue. Somehow, he fell a pray to my brief address at the Conference. That explains that eyes fell on me to be the chief guest this morning.

Friends, during the last four weeks, I have addressed three international conferences on Interfaith. Friends, in an event like this, it is difficult to identify a theme that could interest all. Here, the whole college is present on this occasion. So which section of this gathering, I should keep in mind while saying a few words. However, I am clear about it. I am reminded of a famous Chinese proverb, where there is majority, there is prestige. Thus, I will go with the students who have always been close to my heart.

My dear students, I don’t wish to sound too idealistic. I have no mantras or readymade formulas for a rosy picture. These days you get excellent counseling from your worthy teachers and caring parents. Besides, there are abundant facilities for professional courses in the private coaching centres, along with hi-tech and mass media facilities. My sincere congratulations and best wishes are to the chosen few whose performance has been publically honoured.

However, I wish to caution them that they should not become complacent. They should rather put in more efforts to achieve higher targets. There is always need for continuous efforts. It’s a common knowledge that opportunities for higher education are available in abundance in the emerging globalizing economies and presence of multinational corporate in India. India is undoubtedly one of the best and most advanced countries in the field of higher education, particularly engineering, medicine, computer science, management, foreign trade, mass media, journalism, law, library science, hotel management and advanced research in many fields. Our ability to speak and write English is an added advantage to our students. Facilities for higher education and career-oriented courses are plenty in India and abroad. There are several coaching centres around in this regard.

These days, how attractive are the pay packets. High salaries have considerably enhanced our economic and social status. I think, qualified professionals – doctors, engineers, architects, professors, media people, management and hotel industry people are much
better of than the businessmen in our country. There are assured incentives and regular increments. No ups and downs. Besides, making you enlightened citizens, education is the best means to earn a comfortable and respectable livelihood.

However, education is an individual effort and not a matter of inheritance. You cannot automatically get it from your parents as a matter of birth right.

I firmly believe, education is a must and it is of a double advantage to women for empowerment and self – sufficiency. It puts them on par with men. If women join hands with men in all walks of life, our human resources will grow two fold.

India is a land of economic opportunities. It has the prospects of becoming the second largest economy next only to China in the next few years.

There was a common saying in the 80’s, if you can’t make it big in New York, you will not make it big anywhere in the world. But now in the 21st century, if you can’t make it big in India and China, you can’t make it big anywhere in the world.

One-fourth of the world’s working population is the youth. US, Australia and Japan are facing challenge from the growing ageing population which puts a burden on the society from the resources perspective. The elderly healthcare is the responsibility of the governments in US, Australia and Japan, which forces the government to levy more and more taxes. As the productive population is declining it puts more and more pressure on the economy.

The youth has to play a more active role in the social framework of the country. They should look at playing more active role in the public services. Its only the youth which can understand the problems of the growing youth population. They alone can address and relate to the problems and expectations of the growing youth population. Take part in IAS, IFS and other public services competitions. Play a proactive role in the political and public life of your country, by encouraging and strengthening the policies of economic progress and prosperity. The youth wants progress, economic development, prosperity and not obscurantism and ideological gorgons.

Please pursue your courses with passion and commitment. Do what you would want to do.Don’t pursue a course simply because your parents think it is lucrative. The passion of the three idiots is commendable in rejecting the old style and worn out methods. Think new, think different.

If India grows, everybody grows. It is only the youth that can defeat the sectarian and obscurantist forces by progressive and patriotic forces. Chak de India. Rise above narrow regionalism and sectarianism and make India big. Feel proud of being an Indian.

Last but not the least important, I would particularly address the vast majority of students who must have worked hard and could not make it this time. I hope many of them are horses of long-race. My love and best wishes to all the students, who have won prizes and those who are in the queue.

Congratulations, principal Bakshi and all the members of the teaching staff, administrative staff, students and karamacharis who joined hands in making this function a grand success, which is the culmination of the fruitful academic year.

Good luck Principal Bakshi and learned colleagues and my best wishes my dear students and administrative staff and all those present at the function.

Lastly, my thanks are due to Principal Bakshi for having invited me as the chief guest at this function. I will always cherish the memory of being with you this morning at this function and consider it as an invaluable and unique gift to me on my birthday today. May God, bless you all. May Dyal Singh College rise to new and higher successes. Jai Hind.

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