DISHA Charitable Trust for Value Initiatives, a non-profit social initiative headquartered at Bengaluru and Maharani Lakshmi Ammanni College for Women (MLACW), Malleswaramconducteda 2- day national conference on “Value Initiatives in Institutions of Higher Learning: Key to Youth Empowerment.”The conference was held on 3rd and 4th February, 2015 at MLACW and Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
The photos of the conference
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CONFERENCE
The conference was inaugurated on 3rd February 2015 at MLACW by His Excellency Sri VajubhaiR. Vala, the Hon. Governor of Karnataka.Speaking on this occasion, the Hon. Governor said, “If there are attempts to bring in Indian values in education, then a section of people will criticize it as Saffronisationof education. If it is Saffronisation of education, then there is nothing wrong in it.”
He also said, “The student today gets today has information from all corners, but from where will he imbibe values? Therefore, there is a need for value education to be a part of the modern-day education system which currently focuses only on bestowing literacy and knowledge of technology. It is important to inculcate the eternal values of universal love and brotherhood as enunciated in the concept of ancient sayings such as ‘SarveBhavantuSukhinah, KrunvantoVishwamaryam or VasudhaivaKutumbakam.”
The Hon. Governor lauded the power of youth and exhorted them to focus on character building and inculcating values of courage and integrity instead of spending time and money on cosmetics, fashion items and unnecessary luxuries. He stressed on the need to read about the life and teachings of inspiring leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, SardarVallabhai Patel and Bhagat Singh who sacrificed their lives in the service of the nation.“Today we all have to understand and practice the sentence Satyam Vada-DharmamChara, which means one must speak the truth and follow the path of righteousness. Simple living and high thinking is the need of the hour,”added the Hon. Governor.
On this occasion, the Hon. Governor also released a compendium on the conference theme.
Prof. N. V. Raghuram, International Co-ordinator, S-VYASA and President, Yoga-Bharati, USA and President, DISHA, delivered the presidential address.He pointed out that the entire world is looking towards India for moral and spiritual guidance and underscored the role of organizations like DISHA in this endeavour.
The keynote address was delivered by Swami AtmapriyanandajiMaharaj, the Vice Chancellor of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Kolkata. Quoting examples and verses from the scriptures, Swamiji drew attention to the fact that self-enquiry and a scientific spirit have always been the edifice of all ancient wisdom. He underscored the need for education to be directed towards understanding the purpose of human life.
This was followed by technical sessions that saw presentations and a lively discussion on themes such as
Eminent resource persons chaired and participated in these technical sessions. Notable among these were
This was followed by paper presentations in 5 parallel sessions by 21 faculty members and Ph. D research scholarsrepresenting reputed higher education institutions and non-governmental organizations across the country along with one paper from the USA. Some of the institutions represented include
The papers covered a wide spectrum of profound ideas and sought to highlight vital areas such as
The programme on 4th February at the J N Tata Audiotorium, Indian Institute of Science campus began with paper presentations continued over from the previous day’s session. This was followed by a Sharing of Best Practices session during which selected academic institutions presented the value education models that they were following and discussed the impact of these on students. Reputed institutions that made a presentation included:
This presentation was followed by a session called “Value Initiatives: Students Perspectives” during which selected students presented their viewpoints on how value educationempowers the youth.
The next session titled “Value Initiatives in the 21st Century” saw Dr. K. B. Akhilesh, Professor, Department of Management Studies at IISc, presenting the analysis of the survey titled “Enhancing Professional Excellence – Survey 2015” conducted by DISHA. Dr. K. B. Akhilesh highlighted the values that are important for professional excellence, but not perceived to be present in new entrants into the professions. He said that DISHA and others in value education must focus on these grey areas to have a meaningful impact.
Collating the results of this poll analysis, Dr. K. Subrahmanyam, Pro-Vice Chancellor of S-VYASA Yoga University Bangalore and former Principal, National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla addressed the gathering on “The Way Forward.” In his talk, Dr. K. Subrahmanyamstressed on the different types of education as useful, useless, nuisance and dangerous and said it is important for the education system to be modified so as to identify the talent hidden in students, give them appropriate training and then direct them to work for the welfare of society.
The valedictory function was graced by the presence of former Chief Justice of India, Justice M. N. Venkatachaliah as the Chief Guest. Speaking to a jam-packed auditorium, Justice M. N. Venkatachaliah pondered on the current dismal state of education in India. He expressed remorse that his generation was responsible for much of the current mess. However, he was hopeful that with more than 60 % of the population today being youth, better times are around the corner.
Justice Venkatachaliah spoke of the need for balance when attempting any form of social change. He also highlighted that today’s globalized era is an age of technological singularity. He regretted that along with the collapse of feudal society, unfortunately, the rules of conventional morality also collapsed; however, it is now pertinent that they are rejuvenated in a purified way.
“The hope of the nation is on the present youth population. Minds of the youth should be ignited with values. The values are demonstrated but not taught,” he added.
Dr.Mrityunjay B. Athreya , the Guest of Honour, Padma Bhushan awardee and Management Guru, emphasized on values such as patriotism, humanism, contribution, dharma and self-realization. “Dharma, which is righteous conduct to uphold all, is the single most needed value today. It encompasses various aspects like Rashtradharma, Rajadharma, Samajadharma etc.” He reiterated that Dharma protects those who uphold it. He also remarked that if present-day politicians put Rashtradharma above Rajadharma (national interest above party interest), many of our national issues could be easily addressed.
Stressing the need of the value of Contribution, Prof. Athreya said “Contribution should be according to one’s strength and not interests. It is essential to take an interest and contribute where necessary, enable others to contribute and to develop competencies for owning contributions. If every member in a team contributes at their best, then collective contributions will lead to victory”
“Self realization; physical fitness through Yoga, Psychological maturity through Satva, Intellectual depth by learning, aesthetic taste by Kalaa, material wellbeing by artha, mental wellness by spirituality can take a person to great heights,” concluded Prof Athreya.
The presidential address was delivered by Sri. S. Naganand, Vice-Chairman, MLACW Trust.
The suggestions provided and deliberations during the entire conference were aimed at evolving an integrated approach to value education to allow learners to achieve personal growth as well as national development.
Overall, the conference highlighted the need for value education to equip the youth with skills for life. More importantly, it sought to lay down a blueprint for the way ahead to ensure a dynamic and comprehensive approach to value education.
Educationists Dr N. R. Shetty and KruNarahari, VidyaBharati’s National Vice President and RSS KshetreeyaKaryavahDushi Ramakrishna Rao, RSS KshetreeyaPracharakMangeshBhende, RSS PranthPracharakMukunda C. R., RSS KshetreeyabouddhikPramukh V. Nagaraj, BharatiyaShikshanMandal’sDr K. V. Acharya, Disha Charitable Trust’s RekhaRamachandran, Rajesh Padmar, Subramaniam, KshamaNaragund and several others were present during the conclave.
Outcome of Conference
The outcome of the 2-day national conference is a policy report drafted by eminent persons including
Some of the recommendations include:
This report will be presented to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India for further action.
The panel and the organizers of the conference hoped that through this, in the next 10 years, there would be a transformation of the education system from the Macaulay model to the Maharshi model.