Be ready for change but remain rooted to traditions: Nirmala Sitharaman to Symbiosis students


Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Saturday urged students of Symbiosis International University (SIU) to be ready for change but asked them to remain rooted in their traditions. Sitharaman, who was speaking at the 19th convocation of SIU, also asked the students to ensure they have the power to discern between good and bad.

Sitharaman also talked about the changes the country has seen over the years. From an era of paucity, the country, she said, has now entered into an era when there is enough.

She said, “From 1970s, when cooking gas connections were scarce, the country is now at an age when the government is making efforts to find out people who do not have cooking gas connections to provide the same. Similarly, in the early 1980s, landline connections were hard to get, while now the phone has become accessible to all. The phone is now the office, entertainment and bank all rolled into one. Digital money, including payment using QR codes, has become the most common method of payment.”

However, she added, “While change is the most constant and people should be ready for it, they should also remain rooted to their traditions.”

The pandemic, she said, has accelerated the changes. “The challenge before every one is whether they are ready for the change or not.” She also urged the education sector to impart value to the students which would allow them to face the changes.

Chancellor S B Mujumdar in his speech talked about the incidents which led him to start the international university. Mujumdar said the time has come to introduce values and morals in the education system. “SIU, to commemorate India’s ascendency to the G20 presidency, has decided to start a centre to study Vasudev Kutumbakam (the world is one family). This centre would study the ancient precept which is the motto of the SIU using modern science, technology and others.”

The convocation also saw the conferring of the prestigious D Litt degree to Omani businessman Pankaj Khemji and renowned physician cum scientist Dr Raman Gangakhedkar. Dr Gangakhendar in his acceptance speech said such awards strive him to make a difference in people’s life.


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