Kiran Bedi urges Panjab University to make sports compulsory for students - Hindustan Times
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Kiran Bedi urges Panjab University to make sports compulsory for students

By, Chandigarh
Apr 02, 2024 09:18 AM IST

Bedi asked the packed auditorium how many of them play sports and was disappointed when only a minority said yes; “I would request Renu (Vig) to take this historic step; for a ‘Viksit Bharat’, an extra hour of reading and an extra hour of playing is something that is needed,” she said

One of Panjab University’s (PU) most famous alumni, former Puducherry lieutenant general and IPS officer Kiran Bedi spoke about the importance of sports and urged vice-chancellor (V-C) Renu Vig to make the practice compulsory for students as it will help girls feel empowered and help boys develop behavioural skills.

IPS Kiran Bedi (Retd) interacting with the students of Panjab University in Chandigarh on Monday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
IPS Kiran Bedi (Retd) interacting with the students of Panjab University in Chandigarh on Monday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

Bedi was speaking at a session organised by the PU alumni association on “What makes women leaders effective” in the auditorium of evening studies department on Monday.

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She asked the packed auditorium how many of them play sports and was disappointed when only a minority said yes. “I would request Renu (Vig) to take this historic step. For a ‘Viksit Bharat’, an extra hour of reading and an extra hour of playing is something that is needed,” she said.

She spoke about how girls who play sports can feel confident and empowered. How sports makes them stronger, how it makes them travel and how PU has so many grounds for the students to take advantage of. She added that even boys who play sports are better behaved and develop skills, like leadership, team spirit and hard work. She advised students to effectively manage their time, as it is more precious than money.

‘PU better than DU’

Bedi, who graduated with a master’s degree in political science from PU in 1970 and lives in Delhi now, fondly remembered her time at the university and said PU is better than Delhi University (DU). She described how the buildings are better, the space available on campus, the faculty and academics. “Panjab University should top in all competitions because of this,” she added and said that for her PU is even better than the Ivy League colleges of the US because of the friendship, warmth and mentorship that it offered to her.

Bedi urged students to take all opportunities they could get and remembered how she used to participate in debates with another famous PU alumna and former leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj. “Panjab University gives so many facilities for so cheap. You should take full advantage of this,” she added, and asked the students to have gratitude for the university and for Chandigarh.

Speaking about unemployment among youth, Bedi said the problem is that the system is creating unemployable graduates. “The National Education Policy (NEP) aims to fix this and impart vocational skills from the school level itself. I would advise students to opt for a practical degree with which they can get a job as soon as they graduate,” she added.

Bedi takes dig at Kejriwal

Towards the end of the session when she was telling people to just be who they are, she took a veiled dig at Delhi chief minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal who has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). “Some people claim to be “kattar imaandaar” but they say something and do something else. Time reveals all,” she said.

When she was questioned by dean students welfare (DSW) women Simrit Kahlon regarding how she was able to crack the male-dominated IPS force, she said as a police officer people were scared of her because she emitted the right ethical values. She also spoke about how she had helped tackle bureaucracy problems in Puducherry and her time as being in charge of Tihar Jail.

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