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Create prosperity for society and reduce disparity

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Mumbai: Observing that there are millions of people in India who are suffering from hunger, exclusion and strife, the Governor of Maharashtra Ch Vidyasagar Rao called upon the graduates of social science to demonstrate their talent and commitment to create prosperity for society, reduce socio-economic disparities and to seek solutions to the problems of humanity. The Governor was speaking at the 75th Annual Convocation of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences at the Deonar Campus of the University.

The Governor presented Gold Medals and trophies to top ranking students from various disciplines on this occasion. Chairman of the Board of Governor of Tata Institute of Social Sciences S Ramadorai, Director Prof S Parasuraman, Deans and Members of various faculty and graduating students were present on the occasion.

Address by Governor Shri S Ramadorai, Honourable Chairman of the Governing Board of TISS, Shri S Parasuraman, Director TISS, Deputy Director, Deans and other faculty members and distinguished guests, all dear graduating students, I feel honoured to associate myself with the 75th Annual Convocation of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences at Mumbai and to share your joy on this occasion. This is a wonderful moment of celebration for all of us. For those who are graduating today, this day signifies reaching of an important milestone. Some of you have also achieved recognition for your exceptional academic achievement and I feel proud of each one of you. I congratulate all those who are graduating today. Congratulations are also due to all the people in your family, community, teachers and the institution who have contributed in your reaching this point in your life. We are a young nation with an ancient heart, standing today on the cusp of change. There are immense possibilities for those who are able and willing to ride the wave. There are also old and emergent challenges that require creative and courageous solutions. Even as we celebrate our status as a growing economy, there are millions who are not free from the shackles of hunger, exclusion and strife. Changing climate is threatening to wipe out our hard won achievements in agriculture and food security. Farmers, who are the backbone of our nation, are in acute distress in many parts of our country. But challenges also force people to innovate and work together. Only last week, Chairman Ramadorai and I were travelling to the interior parts of Maharashtra. We saw the programme of Jalayukta Shivar Yojana in Satara district. It was nice to see how people from a water-deficient region joined hands to harvest rain water with a view to making the village drought-free. A growing economy is worth little if it leaves millions destitute and disaffected. We will need to demonstrate talent and commitment to create prosperity and enable redistribution. 022 In a globalized world we must speak up for a just cause and also work to bring together groups of people with diverse convictions in order to seek common solutions for the humanity. This is a responsibility that your generation has to fulfil. One of the benefits of the education that you have received here, at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, is possibly that you can recognize the wrongs that assail our world and have the courage to right them. For 80 years, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences has steered higher education in multi-disciplinary Social Sciences towards practical real world needs. Working closely with governments, industries and communities within Maharashtra and elsewhere in the country, the institute has risen to meet every new challenge with dedication and enthusiasm. It is well known that the institute has tried to address some of the most pressing concerns of contemporary times. It has persuaded you to look beyond individual interest to the need of others. It has persuaded you to think - in Dr Martin Luther King’s words -“what are you doing for others?” To make a meaningful contribution towards reducing the suffering of others, one must participate in transforming the world. The world around us is changing. Our world is a youthful one. A record 55% of the 1.25 billion people in our country are below the age of 25 years. It is also a world where 95% of people work in the informal sector and the levels of unemployment are high and increasing. Education must rise to meet the aspirations of a young nation. It must provide sustainable employment. It must also shape the youth to lead the economy and society towards greater wellbeing for all. With this view in mind, the Government has embarked on the programme of skill development. Today more than ever, skills for livelihood and entrepreneurship are needed to develop alternatives to declining agriculture. Everywhere we must ratchet up efforts for development and upgrading of the skills of the growing Indian workforce that are employed in the unorganized and private sector. Research, documentation, advocacy and evidence-based interventions are needed to identify the skill-gap in the workforce and seek ways of filling the deficit through training and development programmes. Many institutions are taking initiative in this direction under the aegis of the National Skill Development Initiatives. As graduates and scholars of the class of 2013-15, you are about to enter the next phase of your life. You will be called upon to seek solutions to many of our pressing problems. In the world of uncertainty, you must have confidence in the values in which you have been educated.   As citizens of a vibrant democracy you can contribute to the progress of the nation in unprecedented ways. From its inception, 77 years ago, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences has aimed to stay at the cutting edge of education, research and outreach in important areas of development and policy. TISS has imparted education and trained generations of social work, management and development professionals. It has provided support to government institutions and grassroots organizations and applied its academic research and field expertise to assess policies around social needs and social welfare. TISS has tried to seek solutions to the complex real world issues that concern people in India. In the past decade the institute has demonstrated its capacity to understand, learn from and respond to the transforming realities in the country with the onset of liberalized economy and globalization. In the present year the institute has made great strides through its varied engagements. Among its most important contribution is the creation of systems and processes for democratising the access to quality education and skill development initiatives. Through its programme on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) located in the School of Vocational studies, the institute is promoting skill development of ECCE workers. Another educational innovation is the Connected Learning Initiative (Clx) collaboration with the MIT in which modern educational technology is being used to improve the professional and academic prospects of high school students. Through its school of Vocational Studies, the institute is working on four models of skill development. Skilling women and men who need new or enhanced skills, skilling university graduates to increase employability, capacity building of rural and social sector personnel and PRIs, and Entrepreneurship development among Self Help groups (SHG). Needless to say that the challenges that we face in todays complex world order are not easy and the answers won’t come quick. The distress of struggling millions seeking to make a decent living won’t disappear overnight. But we will have to keep striving in our journey towards equal opportunity and democracy enshrined in our constitution. I have full faith in the ability of the youths to bring about a change through your commitment, dedication and hard work. I congratulate each one of you on this happy occasion of Convocation and wish you success in your future endeavours.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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