Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to fulfil what another Narendra had dreamt more than a century ago, human resource development minister Smriti Irani said on Friday.
“It is interesting to note that it was Narendrnath Dutta (Swami Vivekananda’s name before he became a monk) who had showed this nation a path to achieve glory. Today, this very nation is being led by a man called Narendra Modi who seeks to fulfil Swami Vivekananda’s dream of putting India back in its rightful place as jagat guru (leader of the world),” the television actor-turned-politician said while addressing the annual convocation of the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University in Belur.
Before attending the convocation, Irani visited the adjacent Belur Math, the global headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, and went to the temples on the premises.
In her 15-minute speech, Irani focussed on Swami Vivekananda’s vision of education and views on the power of the youth.
“Swamiji believed that the end of all education is man-making,” she said. Quoting the monk, she added: “The aim of education is to manifest in our lives the perfection which is the very nature of our inner self.”
She said Vivekananda believed “that what a man learns is what he discovers by taking the cover off his soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge”.
The minister made a series of announcements, to give a hint of what the Narendra Modi government is doing in education.
The Centre, she pointed out, is planning to draft a policy to meet the global challenges in education and research. “In order to attune education to meet global challenges of equality... our government has proposed to draft an education policy.”
The policy will be drafted through consultations across the nation with all stake-holders, including the authorities of the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University.
The minister announced that the central government was in the process of setting up the Rashtriya Aavishkar Abhiyaan to promote research and innovation.
“There is a need for the mission — Rashtriya Aavishkar Abhiyaan…. For, Swamiji had said if we are to live at all, we must be a scientific nation.” The minister also announced that the government was examining the proposal of the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University to declare it an “Institute of Special Heritage”.