Developing an optimistic outlook among youth is the need of the hour to materialise empowerment, Vice-Chancellor of Anna University – Tiruchi V. Ramachandran said on Thursday.

Inaugurating the ‘Inter-Collegiate Youth Empowerment Programme,’ organised by the Students’ Exnora of the National College here, Dr. Ramachandran said that the onus was on institutions to create the ideal environment for the youth to explore their creativity and realise capabilities.

“Youth empowerment is all about cultivating the values of inner peace, freedom, simplicity, spirituality, innovation, discipline and character,” Dr. Ramachandran said, urging parents to desist from spending heavily on educating their children abroad. “Instead, they can educate their children in local institutions of repute and spend money on establishment of mini-laboratories at home to foster innovation.”

“Money alone does not cause happiness,” he said, citing the trend of people who had gone abroad in pursuit of economic prosperity returning to India to explore the real meaning of life. Dr. Ramachandran espoused the need for youth to empower their minds to face the challenges of future through technological innovations.

College Secretary K. Raghunathan said Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead were must-read for students to transform their outlook. He called upon the participants from about 12 colleges to prepare themselves for a discussion on these books.

Knowledge is the key

Principal K. Anbarasu said knowledge was key to empowerment. “Knowledge helps one to overcome crisis, secure employment, imbibe leadership skills, and develop courage to face competitions.” He advised students to set goals and reach them through hard work.

The inaugural was followed by technical sessions on ‘Value for Values’ handled by R. Panchanathan, retired Professor; ‘Leadership’ by V.K. Boominathan, Professor, Bishop Heber College; and on ‘Goal Setting’ by C.D. Lethi, Professor, Holy Cross College.

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