President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday paid compliments on the academic excellence of girls for outnumbering boys in bagging gold medals in their respective disciplines.
Delivering his address at the 27th convocation of the Pondicherry University here, the President, also the Visitor of the university under the provisions of the Act through which the varsity was established in 1985, presented gold medals to a token number of graduates.
He said, “I had the privilege of presenting the gold medals to only 10 students and I noticed that nine of them were girls.” Of the total 189 students who had bagged gold medals in different disciplines, there were 137 girls while the remaining 52 were boys, he said.
“This wonderful happening reflects the future of our country and it also reflects the leadership qualities of our daughters. I extend my best wishes to them,” he said.
The President delivered a brief address lasting just 10 minutes.
“Whether it is a university or any other entity, finally we all are part of society and we all have our responsibility towards it,” he said stating that the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) encouraging corporate firms to spend a part of their profits for society through CSR should be extended to the universities.
“I have spoken often on the need to extend the concept to our universities. I call it from CSR to University Social Responsibility,” he said.
`I am passionate about it (university social responsibility) and I am happy that the Lt Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi who is also Chief Rector of the University had launched the University Social Responsibility in July last year,” he said.
The social responsibility projects of the university had already registered remarkable achievements, including the inauguration of community services.
He lauded the university’s cleanliness programme.
“Pondicherry University is on the way to become the first university to implement Swachch Bharat on the campus and had submitted a detailed project report to the Union Urban Development Ministry,” the President said.
He commended the contribution of the Chief Minister of Puducherry V Narayanasamy in creating a ‘conducive environment for growth of education in the state.’ The President also declared open a woman’s hostel named as ‘Narmadha’ on the occasion.
Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, Revenue Minister M O H F Shah Jahan, Education Minister R Kamalakannan, Members of Parliament V Vaithilingam and N Gokulakrishnan from Puducherry were among those present.
Vice-Chancellor of the University Gurmeet Singh, presenting a report in his welcome address, said research activities were encouraged in the university.
Members of the students council boycotted the convocation as was decided by it a few days ago to show their solidarity with their counterparts facing alleged repression in various States following their protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The convocation went off amid tight security in and around the campus.