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BBAU convocation: Kovind invokes Ambedkar, Vajpayee; urges students to tread their path

lucknow Updated: Dec 15, 2017 17:41 IST
Rajeev Mullick
Rajeev Mullick
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
BBAU,Convocation,Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University

President Ram Nath Kovind and UP Governor Ram Naik at the 7th convocation of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow. (Photo by /Hindustan Times)(Dheeraj Dhawan/HT Photo)

President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday urged students to draw inspiration from the lives of social reformer Dr BR Ambedkar and former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Invoking the two Bharat Ratnas, Kovind said the hard work and struggle that these two leaders undertook was inspirational.

He was addressing the students and teachers at the 7th convocation of Lucknow’s Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University.

Insisting that both Vajpayee and Ambedkar had strong Lucknow connection, Kovind said, “People of Lucknow elected Vajpayee and sent him to Parliament a number of times as their representative. People respect him for his contribution towards the country and society.”

A few topper Dalit students, who refused to take gold medal from the President, raised slogans against the university administration outside hostel.

They were unhappy with the alleged discriminatory attitude of the VC towards Dalit students.

Family members of one Shailesh Tripathi, who died in March after submitting his PhD thesis, also registered their protest.

While the university had initially refused to give degree to the family member from the stage, it later allowed the bereaved mother to take the medal.

On Ambedkar, Kovind said the father of the Indian constitution was known for all the hard work he did throughout his life. “When he was studying in Columbia University, he used to complete his thesis in quick time. It is because of this quality he was appointed as chairman of Constitution draft committee,” claimed the President.

He also remembered another Bharat Ratna Sardar Patel, who died on this day (December 15).

The President also called upon the students to turn entrepreneurs and become job creators rather than job seekers. He advised them to follow ethics and principles to attain true success in whichever walk of life they chose.

Quoting a phrase, “relativity applies to physics, not ethics,” he said there could be no ambiguity or scope for argument on ethics.

The President noted with satisfaction the rapid progress the country is making, but said, “We need to do more on specific social and economic challenges as well as in the areas of science and technology.” When the country moves forward, he said, every citizen benefits and gets opportunities for personal development.

The President noted that the Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University has taken various steps to highlight social concerns and provide access to the disadvantaged.

It has also adopted villages near the university and worked with the local community on education and development – and connected local people to the University’s Innovators’ Club.

He appreciated such efforts, calling them an example of the students’ sensitivity and sense of responsibility.

‘Endorse ‘Pehle Aap’ etiquette, be a better human being’

President Ram Nath Kovind made a mention of Lucknow’s ‘Pehle Aap’ (After you, please) etiquette. He said while people also make fun of the ceremonious Lucknow exclusive etiquette, if imbibed, it can actually solve the behavioral issues that plague the current generation.

He said the ‘Pehle Aap’ tradition followed here, teaches us to be patient and give priority to others. “It teaches us to be sensitive rather than be impatient and aggressive,” said the President while insisting that it could actually lead to more happiness around.

“Lucknow is a city of culture and is known for its values all around. People should pick Pehle Aap from this city,” the President said.

Special praise for BBAU girls Sushma, Neelu

Kovind showered praise on two BBAU girls: Sushma Verma, the youngest Indian to get enrolled in a PhD course at the age of 15 and Neelu Sharma who got admission in the PhD course under the single girl child scheme. He twice mentioned these two girls’ name in his speech.

Sushma became country’s youngst matriculate at the age of 7 and youngest to get admission in post graduate course at BBAU at 13 years. While Neelu got UGC Swami Vivekananda single girl child scholarship wherein she is getting ₹30,000 per month as a research fellow.

First Published: Dec 15, 2017 17:41 IST