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Gujarat University’s 64th convocation – Talk of dharma and you’ll be termed communal: Governor

Gujarat Governor O P Kohli says education is incomplete without ‘dharma shiksha’

Gujarat Governor O P Kohli at the 64th convocation of Gujarat University in Ahmedabad on Sunday. express photo javed raja 13-3-2016 Gujarat Governor O P Kohli at the 64th convocation of Gujarat University in Ahmedabad on Sunday. (Express photo Javed Raja)

SPEAKING ON the importance of value education in universities, Gujarat Governor O P Kohli during his Gujarat University convocation address on Sunday invoked dharma and stated that speaking the word today was stamped as being communal. “We are using the word value these days without understanding it…Value education is also called dharma shiksha, but the word dharma has been so dishonoured that the moment you utter it, you’re instantly stamped as communal. The word dharma is now in the category of untouchables. But this has never been the definition of dharma in our culture,” Kohli said.

He referred to dharma to define value education as it encapsulates values, including truth, mercy, compassion, charity and purity. “All these are characterised by dharma and bringing these into one’s life is called dharma palan. This dharma palan should be a part of education, either formal or non-formal. Our education is incomplete if we get only academic education and lack value education, dharma shiksha,” he added.

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Drawing a parallel between the imbalance that has been created by the dominance of science and technology over humanities and social sciences and lack of dharma shiksha in education, he said, “The debate is going on in the nation whether this dharma palan, which is value education, should be an integral part of formal education or not. Even if we consider that it is not a part of formal education, it should at least be a part of education. Without this, education is incomplete,” he said.

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Commenting on the large percentage of dropouts, he said, “Even today, we have a large proportion of population that fails to enter the gates of a university. How to make those waiting outside to enter universities is a question for the government, educationists and policy makers.”

While talking about employment opportunities, Kohli said, “It is natural for a graduate or a postgraduate to aspire for a government job, but the government lack these jobs and merely aspiring for a government job would not employ somebody. Thus, it is important to change the nature of education so that it makes us capable of self- employment. Towards this direction, there are several slogans fluttering in the air today, like make in India, skill India, vocational education and innovation. Apart from education, several attempts have been made to encourage vocation and skill education. The vocational streams were started in schools, but hardly 2 -2.25 per cent students took these courses because of lack of social respect for manual work. How to bring vocational education at college and university level and to make it a part of it, how to attain social respectability is a question for educationists.”

State’s best-known humorist Vinod Bhatt, who was the chief guest at the convocation, stressed on the urgent need to address the increasing rate of depression among students. Vice-Chancellor M N Patel announced that the university was set to offer an integrated LLM course from the coming academic session. Also on the agenda was installation of CCTV cameras and making the entire campus Wi-Fi enabled, he added.

As many as 55,720 students received their degrees at the occasion. Among these, the maximum came from commerce stream (23,267), followed by humanities (15,090), education (9,295), science (5,460), law (1,201), medical (707), dental (539) and pharmacy (3).

First published on: 14-03-2016 at 04:48:58 am
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