President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday called upon academicians and students to focus on research and put the knowledge they have acquired to practical use.
“The academic community should be engaged in research in areas that create not only a new knowledge base but also a knowledge base that sustains human society,” Mr. Kovind said addressing the valedictory function of Utkal University’s platinum jubilee celebrations.
“Students and teachers should be sensitive to the empowerment of the marginalised. Issues such as environment, health and education should be taken up vigorously,” he remarked.
“Education is the best tool for social empowerment. I am not only a passionate advocate of this belief, but stand before you as a proof of it too. Universities are great hubs of ideas, but they are not ivory towers. They are part of the society and thus remain engaged with social change,” the President pointed out.
“One can study a lot of scriptures and still remain a fool. The real scholar is one who puts his or her learning into practice.”
Mr. Kovind suggested that an endowment fund be instituted with contributions from the alumni of the University, which has completed 75 years.
“Four months back, I had a meeting regarding an endowment fund created by IIT Delhi. In a month’s time, the alumni were able to collect ₹250 crore. The fund could not only be used for infrastructure, but also for setting up new centres of learning.”
Earlier, the President laid the foundation for a memorial for the Paika Rebellion, which is considered one of the oldest fights for freedom against the British in India, near Khurda town.