President Ram Nath Kovind said one can draw inspiration from the ancient universities of Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramshila and Vallabhi which had set high standards of teaching and research. Addressing the fourth annual convocation of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, he said Indian scholars of today should try to create an original body of knowledge which would be useful in dealing with contemporary global challenges.
“In dealing with today’s challenges, we can draw inspiration from universities in Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramshila and Vallabhi which had set high standards of teaching and research. Scholars and students from all across the world came to those centres to attain specialised knowledge,” Kovind said.
That ancient system, which had many elements of modernity, produced great scholars such as Charaka, Aryabhata, Chanakya, Panini, Patanjali, Gargi, Maitreyi and Thiruvalluvar. They made invaluable contributions to medical science, mathematics, astronomy, grammar and social development, he said. “Today’s Indian scholars should try to create such an original body of knowledge which is utilised for dealing with contemporary global challenges. JNU is among those select institutions of higher learning which can reach globally comparable excellence,” the President said.
About the COVID-19 pandemic, he said the whole world is in a state of crisis because of it. “In the prevailing scenario of epidemics and pandemics, the National Education Policy 2020 states that it is critical for higher education institutions to take the lead in undertaking research in areas of infectious diseases, epidemiology, virology, diagnostics, instrumentation, vaccinology and other relevant areas,” Kovind said.