TEZPUR: “Assam is gifted with the extraordinary beauty of nature and rich biodiversity and needed to be preserved. Every resident of Assam, especially the youth has to be very active on the fronts of conservation and sustainable development,” said the President of India and Tezpur University Visitor Ram Nath Kovind today. He attended the 19th convocation of the University at the Kalaguru Bishnu Prasad Rabha Auditorium here on February 26.
Speaking on the occasion, the President expressed his happiness to note the renewable energy initiatives of the university, especially in its adopted villages. The President observed that Assam has done a commendable job in conserving biodiversity. “Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve is an impressive example of conservation. Conservation must be the watchword for every citizen, especially the student community,” said. He urged the youth to take more responsibility to keep the planet green. “The young population has greater stakes in keeping the planet green and they have to demonstrate greater awareness through their action”, the President observed.
Noting that the North-eastern states accord high priority to organic farming, the President said that Tezpur University can play a major role in branding and marketing of the agricultural produce of this region. He was happy to note that the university has received approval under the ‘Prime Minister-Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme’ for setting up an incubation centre to process jackfruit and ready-to-eat cereals-based products. He also expressed happiness that the Food Engineering & Technology Department has been recognized as the State-Level Technical Institute for Implementation of the Scheme. Referring to the unique ‘Joha’ rice of Assam which is known for its excellent taste and aroma, he said that universities of Assam can help the farmers by branding, popularizing and marketing this unique variety of rice. Many such agricultural products can be promoted, he added.
Pointing to the fact that academic activities have been affected by the Covid pandemic, the President said that the pandemic has had a serious impact on the education of the relatively vulnerable sections of our people. He further said that the National Education Policy 2020 which was released during the pandemic contains a specific focus on digital education with the help of technology. The President highlighted the importance of “Digital University” and urged Tezpur University to become an active stakeholder in this initiative, especially by providing high-quality digital content in Assamese and other languages of the Northeast.
The President urged the entire team of the University to keep past, present and future students bound by the spirit of oneness and move rapidly towards the goals set by the university – xopaan bogaam teebro gotire. He said that by moving fast to achieve ambitious targets, the university would be able to contribute meaningfully to India’s emergence as a much more prosperous and strong nation by the year 2047 when the students of today will be among the decision-makers. Taking part at the event as the Guest of Honour, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma congratulated the graduating students for successful completion of their degrees and diplomas. He mentioned the importance of Tezpur as a city, which he described as one of the important cities of Assam and has been of immense importance since prehistoric times. He also reminded everyone that Tezpur University was established as an offshoot of the historic Assam Accord and recalled the contribution of martyrs of the historic Assam Agitation on this special occasion. The CM also announced that the Government of Assam would construct a multi-purpose hall for the University. Addressing the gathering, Sarma further explained the difference between “education and knowledge” by quoting noted scholar and first Vice-Chancellor of Gauhati University Krishna Kanta Handique. “There is a difference between education and knowledge, the purpose of school-college education is to make it suitable for the student life. However, the pursuit of knowledge is a solemn promise, which is a special form of life itself”, he said. Governor and Chancellor of Tezpur University Prof. Jagdish Mukhi expressed his deep satisfaction to preside over the 19th convocation. Prof. Mukhi emphasized that higher education and academic research have always been the most crucial factors in the process of nation-building. He reiterated that the general quality of life and environment in any country is determined significantly by the educational competence of its citizens and the various institutional practices towards the inculcation of knowledge.
Prof VK Jain, Vice-Chancellor of the University, briefly highlighted the profile of the University and informed the august gathering that the University is in step with the national and global policies of promoting environment-friendly measures in everyday living by encouraging green practices like the use of alternative sources of energy and energy conservation, sustainable waste practices etc. A total of 1,249 students received their degrees and diplomas in the Convocation, out of which 401 were undergraduate, 717 postgraduate, 68 are PG diplomas and 63 were Ph.Ds. Among the degree recipients, 45 toppers of various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes received gold medals.