Prime Minister's Office

English rendering of PM's address at the 18th Convocation of Tezpur University, Assam

Posted On: 22 JAN 2021 1:46PM by PIB Delhi


Prof. Jagdish Mukhi ji, Governor of Assam, Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank ji, Chief Minister of Assam Shri Sarbananda Sonowal ji, Vice Chancellor of Tezpur University Prof. V.K. Jain ji, other faculty members and my talented dear students of Tezpur University, today is a life-long moment for more than 1200 students. Today is a very important day for your teachers, professors and your parents too. And the most important thing is that the name of Tezpur University has been affixed to your career forever from today. The happier you are today, the more I am. The more you are optimistic of your future today, the more I have immense faith in all of you. I am confident that what you have learnt at Tezpur University will give a new momentum and a new height to the progress of Assam and the country.


There are many reasons for this trust.  First, the historical place of Tezpur and the inspiration from its mythological history! Secondly, the work you are doing at Tezpur University, which I am told, evokes a lot of enthusiasm. And, thirdly, not just me, but the country also has unwavering faith in the capabilities of eastern India, its people, its youth and their nation building efforts.


The spirit of the university anthem, which was sung before the distribution of awards and medals, salutes the great history of Tezpur. I want to repeat a few lines because these have been written by Bharat Ratna Bhupen Hazarika ji, the pride of Assam. He has written: अग्निगड़र स्थापत्य, कलियाभोमोरार सेतु निर्माण, ज्ञान ज्योतिर्मय, सेहि स्थानते बिराजिसे तेजपुर विश्वविद्यालय i.e., Tezpur University is established where there is Agnigarh (fire fort), where there is Kolia Bhomora Setu (bridge), where there is a light of knowledge.  Bhupen Da has described so much in these three lines. The history of Agnigarh, which is associated with Prince Anirudha-Princess Usha, Lord Shri Krishna, the vision of the great Ahom General Kalia Bhomora Phukan, the repository of knowledge, is the inspiration of Tezpur. Along with Bhupen Da, great personalities like Jyoti Prasad Agarwala and Bishnu Prasad Rabha are the identities of Tezpur. Since you have studied in their ‘karmabhoomi’, in their birthplace, and, therefore, it is natural that you feel proud and your life is bubbling with self-confidence.


Our country is heralding 75 years of its independence this year. Countless people from Assam have contributed to the country’s liberation from hundreds of years of servitude. People at that time sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the country, gave up their youth, now you have to live for a new India, for a self-reliant India, and to make your life meaningful. From now till the completion of 100 years of India's independence, these 25-26 years are also the golden years of your life. Imagine the dreams of the young guy, the daughter who would be of your age during the period of 1920-21. What were the things on their minds which they embraced and exhausted their life to achieve them? Try to imagine what the people of your age used to do 100 years ago, then it will not take you time to think what you have to do. It is a golden period for you. Spread the splendor of Tezpur all over India and across the world. Take Assam and the North-East to the new heights of development. The way our government is engaged in the development of the North East today and the way work is being done in every sector, including connectivity, education, health, etc is creating many new possibilities for you. Take full advantage of these possibilities. Your efforts show that you also have the capacity and the ability to think new and to innovate.


Tezpur University is also known for its Innovation Center. Your grassroots innovations also give new impetus and strength to Vocal for Local. These innovations are effective in solving local problems, opening up new doors of development. As I am told, your Department of Chemical Science has developed a low-cost and easy to use technology to clean drinking water. It is benefiting a large number of villages of Assam. Rather, I am told that this new technology is being used in states like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bihar, Karnataka and Rajasthan, meaning that your fame is now spreading. The development of this kind of technology in India will help realize the dream of the Jal Jeevan Mission to provide drinking water to every household.


Apart from water, the task that you have taken to convert waste into energy in villages, its impact will be very huge. Crop residues are a big challenge to both our farmers and our environment. The work that you are doing at your university on an inexpensive and effective technology related to biogas and organic fertilizer can solve a major problem of the country.


I have also been informed that Tezpur University is also running a campaign to preserve biodiversity and the rich heritage of the North East. It is a very commendable job to document the languages of the tribal communities of the North East which are at risk of extinction. Similarly, you are engaged in so many miscellaneous works, whether it is the preservation of the art on the centuries-old wood at Batadrava Than in Nagaon, the birthplace of Srimanta Sankaradeva, or the digitization of books and papers of Assam written during the period of subjugation. Whosoever listens will feel proud that this devotion and practice is happening in Tezpur, the remote eastern end of India. You are really doing wonders.


When I came to know about so much, the question came to mind, from where do you get the motivation to do so much research on local subjects and local needs? The answer is also at the Tezpur University campus. Now like your hostels -- Charaideo, Nilachal, Kanchanjungha, Patkai, Dhansiri, Subansiri, Kopili – these are names of mountains, peaks and rivers. And these are not just names. They are also the living inspiration of life. In the journey of life, we have to face many difficulties, climb many mountains and cross many rivers. This is not a one-time job. You climb one mountain and then move towards the other. With every mountain climbing, your information also expands, your expertise increases and your perspective is inclined for new challenges. Similarly, rivers also teach us a lot. Rivers consist of many auxiliary streams and then merge into the sea. We should also seek knowledge from different people in life, learn and achieve our goals by moving forward with those lessons.


When you move forward with this approach, you will be able to contribute to the development of Assam, North East and the country. You may have seen that the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign has become an integral part of our vocabulary during this Corona period. It has merged with our dreams. Our efforts, our determination, our accomplishments, our efforts, everything are revolving around it, but what is this campaign?  After all, what is the change? Is this change limited to resources? Is this change limited to physical infrastructure only?

Is this change only in technology? Is the change due to the growing economic and strategic might? The answer to each such question is yes. But, the biggest change is regarding instinct, action and reaction. Today, the mode and mood of our young country to deal with every challenge and problem is somewhat different. We have seen its recent example in the world of cricket. Many of you would have followed the Indian cricket team's Australia tour. What kind of challenges our team had to face during this tour? We lost so badly, but we bounced back immediately and we won in the next match. Despite injuries, our players remained steadfast on the field to save the match.  Instead of being disappointed in challenging conditions, our young players faced the challenge, found out new solutions. No doubt, some players had little experience, but the morale was very high. As soon as they got the opportunity, they created history. Such was the belief in talent and temperament that they defeated a better team, a very experienced team and which boasted of so many experienced players.

Young friends,

The performance of our players on the cricket field is important not only in sports; it's also a huge life lesson. The first lesson is that we should have faith and confidence in our ability. The second lesson is about our mindset. If we move forward with a positive mindset, the result will also be positive. The third and most important lesson is if you have the option to play safe on one side and have the option of a difficult win on the other, you must explore the victory option. If there is occasional failure in a bid to win, there is no harm in it. Do not be afraid to take risks and experiment. We will have to be proactive and fearless. Once we come out of the fear of failure and the unnecessary pressure that we put on ourselves we will emerge fearless also.


It is not so that India seeped in morale and dedicated to its goals appears only on the cricket field. You are also the snapshot of it. You are confident and full of self-confidence. You are not afraid to think and walk offbeat. The same young energy like you has also given India a lot of strength in its fight against corona. You may recall, at the beginning of this battle, there were apprehensions that India, with such a large population, would be devastated by the corona in the absence of resources. But India proved that if you have resolve and resilience then it does not take time to develop resources. That is what India did. Instead of compromising with the situation, India took swift and proactive decisions, rather than waiting for the problem to escalate. This is the result that India was able to combat the virus effectively. With Made in India solutions, we checked the spread of virus and improved our health infra. Now, our vaccine-related research and production capability is giving confidence of a protective cover to India as well as many countries in the world.

Would this success be possible if we did not trust our scientists, researchers, scholars and the strength of our industry? And friends, why only the health sector, take our digital infrastructure for example. Could the government reach out to the poorest of the poor so effectively in a crisis like Corona if we were to assume that DBT and digital transactions were not possible in the absence of literacy in India? Would it ever be possible if we are among the world’s leading countries in fin tech and digital inclusion today? The India of today is not afraid to experiment to solve the problems and is not deterred to work on a large scale. The biggest campaigns on banking inclusion, building toilets, providing houses to every family and providing door-to-door drinking water are taking place in India. Then there is the largest health assurance scheme and now the largest vaccination campaign is taking place in India. All these have benefited the North East and the people of Assam. Such plans can only be run if the country and society is brimming with confidence and the country is putting all its might to innovate and to change the status quo.


Today, the way new technologies are developing in India and the world they are creating new possibilities in every sector. Today, we are witnessing many such experiments in day-to-day life like branchless banks, retail business without showrooms, cloud kitchens without dining halls, etc. It is also possible that future universities would be completely virtual and students and faculties from all over the world could become part of any university. We need to have an important regulatory framework for this kind of transformation. It is being continuously tried through the new National Education Policy. This policy encourages greater use of technology, multidisciplinary education and flexibility. The new National Educational Policy emphasizes the need to create our education system for Data and Data Analytics. With the help of Data Analysis, the whole process will be much better from admission to teaching and evaluation.

I am confident that Tezpur University will play an important role in realizing these goals of the National Education Policy. I have full confidence in the track record and the potential of Tezpur University. And I would particularly say this to my student colleagues that you work not only for your future but for the future of the nation when your formal education is completed. Remember just one thing, if your purpose is high, you will not be affected by the highs and lows of life. The next 25-26 years of your life are going to determine your career as well as the destiny of the country.

I am sure all of you will take the country to new heights. In 2047, when the country celebrates 100 years of independence, this period of 25-30 years will be replete of your contribution, your efforts and your dreams. Imagine how big a role your 25 years is going to play in the centenary of independence. So friends, let us be conscious of those dreams and march ahead with those resolutions, dreams and achievements. See, life will make its way across each height of success. On this auspicious occasion today, I convey my best wishes to your family members, to your teachers, faculties, to your dreams, to everyone. My infinite wishes!

Many many thanks!!


DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.



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