Vice-President stresses on need for removal of caste barriers

Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurating the Puducherry Technological University. Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, CM N. Rangasamy look on.   | Photo Credit: S.S. Kumar

Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday stressed on the need to remove “artificially” created caste barriers and gender discrimination from Indian society.

Inaugurating the Puducherry Technological University following the upgradation of Pondicherry Engineering College, the Vice-President said institutions should play a role in removing “the artificial barriers in the name of caste, gender and social discrimination.”

Stressing on the need for innovation, Mr. Naidu said nations had developed because of their focus on cutting edge technologies. Institutions should encourage students to innovate and increase interface with industries for better outcome, he added.

Even after several years of Independence, 23% of the people were living below the poverty line and 20% were illiterates. The country should focus on literacy programmes, he added.

Pointing to the initiatives of the Centre to develop the start-up sector, the Vice-President said there had been encouraging response from the youth with a large number of women taking leadership role. The innovation of youngsters was visible during the pandemic with many people developing ventilators and other medical equipment, he said.

New Heights

“India today is scaling new heights in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation. Today, we have the world’s largest start-up ecosystem. Data from the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade suggests that we have over 50,000 start-ups spread across 623 districts in the country,” he said.

In the year 2020-21 itself, over 16,000 start-ups were recognised. With the government opening up the space sector for private players, more than 40 tech start-ups were working in the field of satellites, launch vehicles and other space-based applications, Mr Naidu said.

“It is a matter of great joy that leadership teams of 45% start-ups have a woman entrepreneur. This is a healthy trend which will inspire more women to become entrepreneurs,” he said.

He also urged institutions to encourage students to focus on research so as to address contemporary issues such as climate change. Even developed countries such as the United States were confronting the problem of flood and forest fire, he added.

Mr. Naidu also called upon State governments to frame school syllabus to impart knowledge about local heroes who contributed towards nation building.

“Institutions should focus on research and out-of-the-box ideas. Innovation is important for the progress of the country and for making people more happy,” he said.

On the upgradation of PEC into a university, Mr.Naidu said the college had already created a name in the education sector. The conversion of the college to a university would help in collaborating with other institutions and industries.

Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Chief Minister N. Rangasamy, Speaker R. Selvam and Home Minister A. Namassivayam attended the inaugural function.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 3:27:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/vice-president-stresses-on-need-for-removal-of-caste-barriers/article36442891.ece

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