PM Hails Shivaji, NEP at Address During Visva Bharati Convocation

A total of 2,535 students received their degrees at the convocation.

2 min read

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the convocation ceremony of Visva Bharati University in West Bengal, via video conferencing at 11 am on Friday, 19 February.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' and Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre were also present at the event.

PM Modi is the Chancellor of the University that was founded by literary luminary Rabindranath Tagore in 1921.

A total of 2,535 students received their degrees at the convocation.

On 23 December 2020, PM Modi had also addressed the centenary celebrations of the the oldest central university in the country.

“It is my honour to be part of the gift Gurudev Tagore has given to Mother India and to connect with you all. It would have been good if I could be amongst you in this pure soil. This is the second time in a short while when I’ve got the opportunity to be here,” said Modi.

“If Tagore wanted to see Visva Bharati just as an University, then he would have named it Global University or some such. But he called it ‘Visva Bharati’. He said Visva Bharati acknowledges India’s obligations to offer others, hospitality of her praised culture and India’s right to accept from others. He said those who would come to study here would see the whole world through the lense of India and Indian-ness”, the Prime Minister added.

"Today is another holy day. It is the birthday of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. I wish all citizens of the country on the occasion. Tagore, too, wrote a poem on Shivaji called 'Shivaji Utsav’,” he said.

In a speech that was peppered with Bengali quotes by Tagore, Modi also brought up the New Education Policy (NEP).

"The new 'National Education Policy' is a major step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat. It gives strength to research and innovation,” he said.

"What you do depends on whether your mindset is positive or negative. There is scope for both of them. The path is open for both of them. It is in our hands to decide if we want to be a part of the problem or the solution,” he further said to the graduation students.

“Many people who are spreading terror and violence across the world are highly educated and skilled. On the other hand, there are people who are risking their lives and are stationed at hospitals and labs to save people from a pandemic like COVID-19. It’s not about ideology but a mindset.”
Prime Minister Modi at Visva Bharati University

The Prime Minister is scheduled for subsequent visits to West Bengal in the coming weeks. He is to address a public rally in Hooghly district and is expected to inaugurate the Dakshineswar metro station that will connect the existing north-south metro rail line. The new section, which is 4 km long, will be permanently linked to the existing 27-km Noapara-Kavi Subhash metro stretch.

BJP sources say that he's scheduled for another visit in March when he's expected to address the culminating event of the BJP's Bengal Poriborton Rath Yatra.

West Bengal goes to polls in April-May this year.

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