Jammu: Reiterating that Jammu & Kashmir “has been and will continue to be an integral part of India”, the Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu Friday said that any “external interference in India’s internal affairs or unsolicited advice by other countries was unwarranted.”
Addressing the annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Jammu here, Naidu asserted that India was capable of “solving her own problems and addressing all the challenges unitedly.”
“My dear youngsters, where you are studying is an integral part of India,” the Vice-President said and added, “And we are of the opinion that we are capable of solving our problems. No country for that matter has any business to interfere or make comments on the internal affairs of another country or any other country. My advice to some friends, who are trying to give unasked advice to us in between and make commentaries, is to confine themselves to their domestic problems. They need not worry about us,” he said.
In his nearly half-an-hour speech, Naidu said, “We all believe in democracy and civilisation. If you are really civilised you are not expected to interfere in the affairs of any other country. I am very clear about it. Some people from the neighbourhood always try to create problems and disturbances for India.”
“We should not allow them to succeed. We should be guided by the spirit of national integration – nation first, party and profession next and self last. That should be our attitude, nation-first attitude irrespective of caste, creed, sex, religion and region,” he said.
Referring to J&K, he said, “This part of the country is very beautiful and so are the people who need to have peace. Peace is the prerequisite for progress. If you have tension, you cannot pay attention. This has to be understood by one and all. That is why peace is very much required.”
The Vice President also recalled the great contribution of Jammu and Kashmir as an important centre of education since ancient times. Highlighting the works of Patanjali, Anandavardhana, Lalleswari and Habba Khatoon from the region, he called for continuity in enriching the rich culture of learning and innovation.
This was Naidu’s first visit to Jammu and Kashmir since the August 2019 abrogation of Article 370.
Underscoring the importance of educational institutions being agile and alert in anticipating the future trends, the Vice-President pointed out that the world of learning and the world of work were changing very rapidly. He advised the institutions of higher education to “adapt, evolve and respond” to situations that had never before been faced by mankind.
Naidu called upon national institutes like IIMs to offer innovative courses and diplomas based on the new market realities and demands of the fourth industrial revolution.
Calling upon the aspiring entrepreneurs, managers and consultants to identify innovations at the grass roots and use their expertise to achieve scale for indigenous solutions, he urged them to bring in technology to complement the traditional skills of our craftsmen and increase farm productivity to help farmers.
Naidu also urged the graduating management students to work with farmers in improving the marketing of farm produce.
Noting that pandemic had shown the necessity and potential of technology in delivering education, the Vice-President called for more extensive and prudent use of technological tools. However, in this process, the existing digital divide should not widen, he cautioned. “The most remote areas and most underprivileged students should be enabled to benefit from this technological revolution,” he emphasized.
The Vice President commended the institute for its growth and progress over the years and congratulated the outgoing students of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme as well as the administration.
Union Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh and J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha also attended the function, during which degrees were awarded to 148 MBA graduates who successfully completed their courses.
Milind Kamble, Chairman, Board of Governors, IIM Jammu; Dr. B.S. Sahay, Director, IIM Jammu; staff, students and others were present during the ceremony.