Dalai Lama inaugurates Tibetan center at IGNOU

A new center for Tibetan Studies was inaugurated by H. H. Dalai Lama at the campus of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) during the 24thconvocation of the university. He was also awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) in recognition of his contributions to the world peace and development from the university.

“When you talk about Tibetan Studies, all the important subject matter is taken from the Indian tradition. Historically, due to Buddhism spreading in Tibet, we share the guru-disciple relationship. It is all your treasure which we studied, practiced and followed the whole life. Now is the time to return to the original source. The establishment of the center can show the usefulness of study of inner science,” said the Tibetan spiritual leader while announcing the inauguration of the center.

“There are around 300 volumes of Buddhist text translated from India, specifically from Pali language and very few from Chinese language. These can be summed up in three heads: science, concept and Buddhist religion. Science explains mainly the inner science, mind and emotions to apprise oneself with the reality. Concept explains the absence of independent existence while religion tells us how to pray and maintain contact with the inner realms.”

He also emphasized upon the constructive and destructive uses of education. “To use it in a constructive way, one must have more inner strength with self restraint. Moral ethics is the basis of happy individual, community and family.”

In the ceremony held in Delhi, Dr D Purandeswari, Minister of State for Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) emphasized upon the low literacy rate of women. “Our literacy rate before independence was 18 percent which has now increased to 65% according to the 2011 census. Education must be considered as a leveler to remove the inequalities. No nation can progress leaving the half population behind. The multiplier effect must be taken into account.”

E. Ahamed, Minister of State (MOS) for Ministry of External Affairs and HRD focused upon creating technology enabled distance education with multimodal education delivery. “The Open Distance Learning (ODL) opened doors for the marginalized sections in the society. The growth enrolment is only one-fourth of that in the urban areas. It is much lower for the SC's/ST's, 11% in females and 15% for males.”

Speaking on reaching the unreached the university's VC said that, “More than 79,800 SC/ST students have enrolled for its programmes. Several educationally and academically backward areas have been identified and programme centers have been started in these areas. In order to ensure better educational opportunities for the disabled,IGNOU has entered into collaboration with the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) for imparting education and training.”