Gangtok: Gracing the occasion of the 5th convocation ceremony of Sikkim University, President Ram Nath Kovind presented gold medals to top 11 students from various schools and affiliated colleges under Sikkim University at Manan Kendra, Gangtok on Sunday.
Expressing happiness on the visit to Sikkim, the President said that he has laid great interest and priority on higher education and that he was happy to be among students and academicians.
Addressing the students who were conferred with degrees on the occasion, the President urged them to be ready for the responsibilities and challenges that lie ahead. He stressed that the goal of education was to make good human beings, and added that it was the key to being successful in any profession.
He reminded the audience that Sikkim University has evolved into a unique centre of higher learning in just 12 years of its establishment. He added that practices such as gender equality, emphasis on preserving the language, culture, heritage and environmental conservation, as well as the Centre for Endangered Languages has raised the bar of Sikkim University as a model Institution for the overall enhancement of intellectual learning in the entire North East region. He placed a suggestion before the audience that Sikkim University could start a practice called ‘University Social Responsibility’ in the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility. He suggested that USR could entail activities like adoption of nearby villages and carrying out service activities like immunisation, nutrition camp, cleanliness, free education and other such services which would add value to the lives of people in need.
Speaking about the natural bounty of Sikkim and its good practices, Kovind said that the people of Sikkim were known for their civic sense and hospitality. He also lauded the state of Sikkim for its effort in bio-diversity conservation, promotion of overall hygiene, tourism, promotion of communal and cultural harmony, women empowerment, education development, and maintenance of its cultural heritage and places of worship. He stated that Sikkim has created a unique place for itself among the Himalayan states of India courtesy its unique practices and development model. He also mentioned of famous sports persons namely Bhaichung Bhutia, Nirmal Chettri and Tarundeep Rai who have brought laurels to the State and the country.
Sikkim governor Ganga Prasad, who is also the chief rector of the university, congratulated all the students for being awarded their degrees in the presence of the President. He expressed his gratitude to him for his visit to Sikkim and added that his visit has added great value to the state.
After the academic procession and national anthem, the convocation ceremony was declared open by the registrar of Sikkim University.
The President and other dignitaries were presented with the convocation memento, followed by presentation of a brief report of Sikkim University by the vice chancellor Dr Avinash Khare.
Thereafter, Sikkim University chancellor Lt Gen (Dr) DB Shekatkar conferred the degrees and awarded silver and gold medals, and special gold medals.