Dehradun: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said the entire world is looking towards India with great interest today and urged universities to reorient their academic strategies to produce "future ready" professionals.
He said the country has to make the most of its "demographic dividend to grow economically" and the universities can play a great role in this by working in tandem with the governments and equipping students to deal with the future challenges.
"Everything cannot be left to the governments alone. Universities will have to work hand in hand with governments to put the young talent at their disposal to the best use," Naidu said.
"You must reorient your academic strategies to produce future ready professionals who can deal with the challenges awaiting them. This is the biggest challenge before our universities," Naidu said, addressing the 17th convocation of the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies here.
"I have travelled several countries as the vice president and can proudly say that everywhere I go I find great interest about this country. We have to adapt and evolve with the times to prepare ourselves for challenges that await us or we will lag behind," he said. He also said the Indian universities must try hard to be among the top 100 universities in the world.
The vice president also said the economic slowdown in the world was temporary and India''s focus on reform should continue.
He said the fact that India is growing much faster than several major economies of the world at the rate of six per cent despite a global downslide should make people feel confident.
Naidu said "India is a vibrant and dynamic country despite being one of the oldest civilizations in the world as it has sustained values like peaceful co-existence and Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam (the entire universe is one family)". He asked students to go back to the old Indian lifestyle to stay healthy both physically and mentally.
He also advised them to "practise yoga which unites the mind with the body" and eat healthy Indian food instead of western junk food to remain healthy.
Addressing the convocation, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat invited suggestions from the UPES passouts on what the government could do for meritorious and innovative students from weaker sections who did not have access to quality education.
Governor Baby Rani Maurya asked the students to utilise the knowledge they had received at the university for nation building. PTI