The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu graced and addressed the 165th convocation of University of Madras in Chennai today (August 6, 2023).
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that founded in the year 1857, the University of Madras has the distinction of being one of the oldest modern universities in India. This university has played a critical role in dissemination of knowledge. Throughout its journey of over 165 years, University of Madras has adhered to high standards of academics, providing an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity and critical thinking. It has been a cradle of learning, producing countless scholars, leaders, and visionaries. It has also served as a lighthouse, playing a pivotal role in the establishment and growth of many reputed universities in the southern region of India.
Referring to the rich history and glorious legacy of the University of Madras, the President said that the alumni of this institution can play a significant role in its growth as a global centre of excellence. They can mentor the young students. She added that the University should also reach out to the alumni to seek their cooperation for the betterment of the institution.
The President noted that the University of Madras has promoted a culture of research and academic rigor. She urged the University of Madras to invest more in cutting-edge research, encourage inter-disciplinary studies, and promote international collaborations. The University of Madras should be at the forefront of finding learning-based solutions to the problems being faced by the nation and the world at large.
The President said that in today’s highly competitive environment, the pressure to excel in academics, the fear of not getting into good institutions, the anxiety of not landing a prestigious job, and the weight of expectations from the parents and the society are causing acute mental stress amongst our youth. It is important that we come together as a society to address this issue and create an environment that promotes holistic growth and well-being of our students. She urged students to never let any anxiety over-whelm them. She advised them to have faith in their abilities and keep moving forward.
The President said that educational institutions should create an atmosphere that promotes two-way communication, where students feel comfortable discussing their fears, anxieties, and struggles without being afraid of judgment. We must strive to work collectively to create such an atmosphere where our youth feels loved, valued and empowered to face the challenges with confidence and courage.