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News & Press: Apr 2011

India to be center of ideas in the 21st Century: Rahul Gandhi

Wednesday, April 27, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: BITSAA Newsletter
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21 April, 2011

Rahul Gandhi on Thursday speculated that India would be the center for new ideas in the 21st Century, hoping that Indians would represent a massive flux in modern thoughts within and outside the country. He also highlighted the importance of people staying “connected” to the society, asserting that the nation could then benefit from the participation of people from the remotest corners of India.

Speaking at the official renaming ceremony of BITS-Pilani, K.K. Birla Goa Campus (earlier, ‘BITS-Pilani Goa Campus’), Rahul Gandhi struck a chord with the student gathering in the institute’s auditorium, reaching out to the crowd with his passionate speech on the importance of developing ideas and on the need to get it across to the maximum number of people promptly. He stressed on the urgency of moving away from a geographical-based development model to one which placed more emphasis on the individual rather than on his domicile, lauding the work the UPA government had done in this regard.

Earlier, he had officially inaugurated the mosaic mural of Dr. Krishna Kumar Birla, the First Chancellor of BITS Pilani University. The mosaic mural of Dr. K. K. Birla was created by a couple Ms. Poola Perpignani and Mr. Paolo Racagni, from Ravenna, Italy. The unveiled gold and bronze circular mural with the image of Dr. K K Birla had a dedication on a granite-and-glass tablet, quoting his vision for BITS: "Our prime consideration has been to prepare young men and women to act as leaders for promoting the economic and industrial development of the country and to play a creative role in the service of humanity."

This occasion was also graced by the presence of Shri B. K. Birla, Smt. Sarala Birla, Shri Kumar Mangalam Birla (Chancellor of BITS, Pilani University and chairman of Aditya Birla Group), Mrs. Shobana Bhartia (Pro Chancellor, chairperson and editorial director of HT Media Ltd, and daughter of the late Dr. K K Birla) and other illustrious members of the Birla family, Dr. B.N. Jain (Vice-Chancellor) and the directors of all BITS campuses.

``As we dedicate this campus, we pay a tribute to Dr K K Birla and take forward his vision for excellence in learning.…We celebrate his life,’’ said Kumar Mangalam Birla, in his address to the students.

Gandhi also paid a tribute to the family, alluding to the association of the family patriarch, GD Birla, with the freedom struggle and his role in empowering India through industry and education. "You owe a lot to this family," he said in his informal address to the students.

Interacting with the crowd for over an hour and a half, Gandhi answered a variety of questions, with the students seeking to know his stance on many issues of national importance. Speaking on the recent Jan Lokpal Bill issue, he maintained that Anna Hazare was quite within his rights to agitate for the bill the way he did, but he also cautioned that the bill must pass through a democratic process before becoming a law. He also praised the UPA Government’s role in making governance more transparent, citing the RTI act as a major milestone in bringing corruption to the fore. On the highly controversial extended reservations in the country’s premier institutes, he said that the need of the hour was not to debate on the issue of reservation, but to instead increase the number of such institutes in the country, to cater to the need of more such meritorious students. Fielding a question by a student who wanted to know what “groundwork” Mr. Gandhi had done in tackling corruption, as the latter had replied in his letter to Justice (retd) VR Krishna Iyer, he replied that there are no simple solutions to the problem in India, and it would require massive patience, time and extensive support of the people.

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