President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said that there is a lot to learn from the traditional wisdom of Meghalaya.
Kovind said this while addressing the 26th convocation of the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in Shillong.
The convocation saw a total of 14,502 candidates receiving their degrees including 1,989 in person, and 12,513 in absentia.
The President, who is the visitor of NEHU, distributed awards to all the awardees in the presence of Meghalaya governor Tathagata Roy, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma, vice-chancellor of NEHU SK Srivastava and other dignitaries.
Among the special awardees were Kanubhai Hasmukhbhai Tailor, a physically challenged person, who was honoured with the degree of Doctor of Letters by NEHU in recognition of his outstanding contributions in advancing the cause of voluntary humanitarian services.
While 136 candidates were PhD holders, 41 M Phil, 1,342 post-graduate degrees and 12,983 bachelor’s degrees.
In his address, the President congratulated the degree holders including the awardees even as he complimented girls in the matrilineal state of Meghalaya who outshone boys which according to him, this shows the society’s progress.
He said that having students from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Thailand, Africa and Middle-East, the University would further promote cultural cohesion and cross pollination of learning.
The President also recalled people from Meghalaya who have made their mark and contributed to the stare like former Lok Sabha Speaker late Purno A Sangma, former chairman of the Union Public Service Commission Prof David R Syiemlieh and others, and urged students to look up and take good examples from such personalities.
Kovind also said that there is lot to learn from the traditional wisdom of Meghalaya from cleanliness to nature’s beauty and the art of building living root bridges, without failing to mention about the cleanest village Mawlynnong, and the pristine water of Umngot river.
Lauding Meghalaya for its passion about sports especially football, arts and professionals, the President also urged the youth not to become victims of bad habits and substance abuse.
On development front, the President urged NEHU to also play a catalytic role for economic development of Meghalaya and help the state in achieving better ranking on human development indices.
The President also talked about opportunities and challenges for the youth and asked them to work hard and give back to the society.
In line with NEHU’s motto ‘rise up and build’ the President urged the students to rise up as a person with commitment, compassion, courage and competence, and build their career, character, community and country.
Governor Tathagata Roy while calling for unity and working for equal development, reminded the youth about the need to hold the banner of Indianness aloft, while maintaining their individuality, regional traits and own identity.
Chief minister Conrad K Sangma talked about changing world in which job opportunities were different from the past and now.
Talking about climate change, Sangma cited the problem of climate in New Delhi and called upon the youth to help make this earth liveable.