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Place : Ahmedabad Speech Date : 20-11-2010

    • The Khel Mahakumbh will play the role of a catalyst and in days ahead will guide the state to greater heights.
    • Under a single banner, under a single arrangement, if 16 lakh players exercise their sporting skill, all in a month's time, it could probably be the largest, far-reaching event happening in the world.
    • This Khel Mahakumbh would result into a massive talent-search in all the villages of Gujarat.
    • Be it town or village, educated or untaught, rich or underprivileged, every single individual should have fair, impartial opportunities, which is why we have striven to encourage the Khel Mahakumbh as an enduring, potent force of Gujarat.

With due respect to each luminary seated on the dais, all illustrious sportspersons of our country who have graced the occasion today to encourage the blooming sports talent of Gujarat, all the dear children who have filled this ceremony with colourful vibrancy- this day stands as a momentous occasion in the history of Gujarat. Whenever there is a scenario of contests and games in our country and when Bharat does not win laurels or medals, there emerges an atmosphere of speculation, criticism, abuse and inaction. And amidst this, a distant questioning voice emerges, why isn't anything constructive done in a nation with a population of over one hundred crore? The question is belittling, the thought is instinctive & the pain experienced is natural, but are we to shoulder this pain passively? Will we continue speculations over our players, or would we make an auspicious beginning somewhere?

Brothers and sisters, our dreams are lofty, but let us make a modest beginning. I do not assume that the Khel Mahakumbh will usher in an immediate noticeable change. Neither does my government hold such a view nor has any intellectual stated a similar opinion. But we can take, at the least, a single step in the right direction. This Khel Mahakumbh is a stride on the path towards attaining the tremendous dream.

In life, if games do not become an integral part of our being, if games do not become a tradition of social life, mere activities on the play ground, good practice, resources and rules will not create players. A true player is born in society's sports culture. The event of Khel Mahakumbh has been initiated as an effort to give birth to this sports culture. It will be poised as a momentous event in the chapters of world history. The entire Gujarat will play- with various competitions in more than 1100 slots. Even before the event was launched, residents of 18,000 villages got together, conducted competitions of each game and made a representation of their team. The teams selected from each village will take part in 1100 specific contests. So, more than 16 lakh players will be participants at the Khel Mahakumbh. Under a single banner, under a single arrangement, if 16 lakh players exercise their sporting skill, all in a month's time, it could probably be the largest, far-reaching event happening in the world.

Brothers and sisters, a sound, healthy nation is not born unless there prevails a spirit of sportsmanship in society. Sportsmanship is neither an asset of players alone nor a quality to be found in competitors solely. The essence of true sportsmanship should be mirrored by an entire society and this virtue will not be born if sporting events and activities do not take shape. When competitions are held, it gives birth to team spirit- tournaments become the creator. A striving spirit and grace in losing is nurtured from the womb of competitions. Hence let an ambience of team spirit pervade all over Gujarat. The Khel Mahakumbh will play the role of a catalyst and in days ahead will guide the state to greater heights.

Brothers and sisters, there are regular dimensions of progress which are discussed worldwide- good roads, sturdy buildings, establishment of factories, construction of airports- development of this kind remains incomplete when citizens do not advance in values, when their personalities remain restricted, when the consciousness of an entire humanity is not enkindled. And so for development, we would like to build roads, establish industries, generate energy, we would like to scale and cross new heights of development. But that is not the end. They are only the means- they are our resources on the path of progress. I wish that our 5 crore citizens achieve new horizons. May every single soul in Gujarat be filled with energy, radiance, and an inner strength, may everyone be blessed with a dream, and have the strength and will to accomplish those dreams. To build up this potential and channelize it the right way we shall have events- we had events like Gujarat Abhiyaan, Khel Mahakumbh, even the world's largest chess tournament & Gujarat Tweej - all in an effort to bring changes in each and every life. Hence we have initiated to steer this work in the right way.

For an entire month, I have been keenly aware of the complete commitment put in by our friends of the concerned department, working day and night for the Khel Mahakumbh. Their heels have taken momentous effort to reach the pinnacle. And I did realize that had the Khel Mahakumbh not been organized, there probably would not have been such a mass activity of capacity building. Each and every village should have a ground for games; with a right plan regarding size, sketch and profile, implementation of rules and regulations and an umpire to co-ordinate each of these aspects. There should be a clear idea as to how resources should be procured. I realize now, how the Khel Mahakumbh has strengthened efficiency in various facets. There has been tremendous capacity building in the government machinery, in the sports field, among those who have been assigned to do every single work. The quality of processing has improved much. This has made a sweeping change in society and will ensure quality work outright for centuries to come. This way, all ensuing works becomes easy, for they become subdivisions of the main task.

Brothers and sisters, there was a time, when in the field of sports, opportunities went only to the children of influential homes of big cities. But since few years, in every sport, we find the youth coming forward from even the remotest village of every city. Recently, our daughter Lajja won a medal in the Common Wealth Games. I went to their home; it is in a very small village. It's a small family- a family that lives in a single room. Brothers and sisters, children born in underprivileged homes have greater potential than we can imagine. I wish to extend sports and the spirit of participation from influential households to these modest, common homes. I want to take games to the households of the underprivileged; discover latent talents hidden in their families and help their skills bloom… And this Khel Mahakumbh would result into a massive talent-search in all the villages of Gujarat.

The government will make a complete scan of the dispersed talents in villages. My desire is to have an atmosphere of sportsman spirit in the entire sports village. Let the spirit of participation, fair play, victory and defeat in sports be accepted as part of life. In this entire Khel Mahakumbh, let the focus be on talent search and discovery of ability.

In the entire course of this Mahakumbh, let new records be made breaking the old ones. In this way if all 16 lakh participants stand united, along with the 1.5-2lakh people entrusted to manage the players, this convoy of around 20 lakh people can ensure a solid foundation for Gujarat for the following century. And today, from this sports arena, it is this message that will echo forth. The way children demonstrated the Yogic Asanas today has been commendable; children from Gujarat have earned fame, both in India and the world around in Yogic competitions, earned name in skating, have shown flair in swimming; they have taken their stride in chess. Brothers and sisters, we have to move ahead in every field and have to help each youth from Gujarat to pace forward. The rising generation of Gujarat has to be given a fair chance. Be it town or village, educated or untaught, rich or underprivileged, every single individual should have fair, impartial opportunities, which is why we have striven to encourage the Khel Mahakumbh as an enduring, potent force of Gujarat.

On the occasion of the Mahakumbh, I wholeheartedly felicitate the 16 lakh participants, my heartfelt cheer to them. It's a matter of joy for me that young girls from even small villages have taken an initiative to be participants in the Mahakumbh. To those daughters, those women who are the divine symbol of motherhood, I salute them from the depth of my soul. My deep regards to those mothers, who have been determined to send their daughters to the sports field. Those mothers who are encouraging their daughters are worthy of greater respect. Let everyone, be it son or daughter, join together in the sports arena with equal, consistent effort. With renewed energy and resolution let us create new avenues, let the entire Gujarat have an opportunity to be part of the Khel Mahakumbh. I have a request to the promotional media; this is an occasion for the young blooming buds; do encourage them in any possible way.

I welcome you to be the partners in the progress of Gujarat in days to come. In this journey of progress, I invite you all to be my companions. Gujarat's growth will strengthen our dignity and glory and hence, I extend my heartfelt congratulations and wishes to this Khel Mahakumbh. I firmly believe that this month of competitions to follow will turn out to be a month filled with power, a month which will take life to cross greater heights of power and strength. Probably it was unimaginable that a fete like this could ever happen in the history of Gujarat. A ceremony like this has taken place after hundreds of years. Let us use this opportunity in the most fruitful way…and along with these, the very best of my wishes.

Jai Gujarat.

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Baba Saheb Ambedkar was a person with universal vision: PM Modi
April 14, 2021
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Baba Saheb Ambedkar had a universal vision: PM Modi
Baba Saheb Ambedkar gave a strong foundation to independent India so the nation could move forward while strengthening its democratic heritage: PM
We have to give opportunities to the youth according to their potential. Our efforts towards this is the only tribute to Baba Saheb Ambedkar: PM

Namaskar!

Present with me in this programme, Gujarat Governor Acharya Shri Dev Vrat ji, the country’s Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank ji, Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani ji, Education Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendra Singh ji, Chairman of UGC Prof. D.P.Singh ji, Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ami Upadhyay ji, Association of Indian Universities President Prof. Taj Pratap ji, all dignitaries and friends.

Today when the country is celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, the occasion of Babasaheb Ambedkar ji's birth anniversary also connects us with that great yagna and also with the inspiration of the future. On behalf of the grateful nation and all the countrymen, I pay my respectful homage to Babasaheb.

Friends,

During the freedom struggle, millions and millions of our freedom fighters dreamt of a harmonious and inclusive India. Babasaheb made the beginning in realizing those dreams in the form of the Constitution to the country. Today India is creating a new future and achieving new dimensions of success by following the same Constitution.

Friends,

Today, the 95th meeting of the Vice Chancellors of Association of Indian Universities is taking place on this auspicious day. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University has announced the establishment of 'Babasaheb Samarasta Chair'. The four books written by Shri Kishore Makwana ji have also been released on Babasaheb's life, his thoughts and ideals. I congratulate all the dignitaries involved in these efforts.

Friends,

India has been the mother of democracy in the world. Democracy has been an integral part of our civilization and our way of life. Babasaheb laid a strong foundation to independent India so the nation could move forward while strengthening its democratic heritage. When we read and understand Babasaheb, we realize that he was a person of universal vision.

There is a clear vision of Babasaheb's philosophy in Shri Kishore Makwana ji's books. While one of his books introduces Babasaheb’s “Jeevan Darshan” (philosophy of life), the other focuses on “Vyakti Darshan” (individual philosophy). Similarly, the third book highlights Babasaheb's “Rashtra Darshan” (national philosophy), whereas the fourth book “Aayam Darshan” will introduce his philosophy of dimension to the countrymen.  These four philosophies are no less than modern scriptures in themselves.

I would like our new generation in colleges and universities to read more and more of such books. All these dimensions, whether it is the inclusive society, the concern for the rights of the Dalit-deprived society, the question of upliftment and contribution of women, or Babasaheb's vision on education and especially on higher education, will offer an opportunity to the youth of the country to understand Babasaheb.

Friends,

Doctor Ambedkar would say:

"My three revered deities are -- Knowledge, self-respect and politeness.” Self-respect comes with knowledge and makes a person aware of his or her rights. Through equal rights, social harmony emerges and the country progresses.

We are all familiar with Babasaheb's struggles of life. The position that Babasaheb reached after so many struggles is a great inspiration for all of us. Our education system and universities have this responsibility to carry the country forward on the path shown by Babasaheb Ambedkar. And when it is the issue of common goals and shared efforts as a nation, collective efforts become the means of accomplishment.

Therefore, I think the role of Association of Indian Universities becomes very important. AIU also has the legacy of scholars like Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan ji, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Smt. Hansa Mehta and Dr. Zakir Hussain.

Dr. Radhakrishnan ji would say: “The end-product of education should be a free creative man, who can battle against historical circumstances and adversities of nature”.

It implies that education should be such which should liberate the person, so that he can think openly, and make something new with a new thinking. He believed that we should develop our education management as a unit of the entire world. But at the same time, he emphasized the Indian character of education. This becomes even more important in the global scenario today.

Here special issues were released on the new 'National Education Policy' and plan for its implementation. These issues are detailed documents how National Education Policy is a futuristic policy, a policy of global parameters. You all scholars are familiar with the nuances of the National Education Policy. The purpose of education that Dr. Radhakrishnan ji spoke about is reflected in the core of this policy.

I am told that this time the theme of the seminar is - 'Implementing National Educational Policy-2020 to Transforming Higher Education in India'. All of you deserve congratulations for this.

I have been constantly discussing NEP with experts. National Education Policy is as practical as its implementation.

Friends,

You have dedicated your entire life to education. You all know very well that every student has his own capability and capacity. Based on these capabilities, students and teachers also have three questions.

First: What can they do?

Second: What is their potential if they are properly taught?

And, third, what they want to do?

What a student can do is his inner strength. But if we add institutional strength to his inner strength, his development becomes expansive. With this combination, our youth can do what they want to do. Therefore, the country’s special emphasis is on skill development. As the country is moving ahead with the mission of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat, the role and demand of skilled youths is also increasing.

Friends,

In view of the strength of skills, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee had placed greater emphasis on the collaboration of educational institutions and industries decades ago. Today, the country has immense opportunities, and there are new industries of modern times. India is being looked upon as a future centre of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, 3D printing, Virtual Reality, Robotics, mobile technology, geo-informatics, smart healthcare and defence sector. The country is taking huge steps to meet these requirements.

Indian Institutes of Skills are being set up in three big metropolitans of the country. The first batch of the Indian Institute of Skills has already started in Mumbai a few months ago in December. The Future Skills Initiative was launched with NASSCOM in 2018. This initiative offers training in more than 150 skill sets in 10 emerging technologies.

Friends,

The new National Policy on Education also provides for NETF which emphasizes the maximum use of technology in education. We want all universities to be multi-disciplinary. We want to give flexibility to students so that they can complete courses anywhere easily through the easy entry-exit and Academic Bank of Credit. Every university in the country will have to work together to achieve all these goals. All the Vice Chancellors have to pay special attention to this.

A huge skill pool will be created in our universities for the new possibilities that we can create in the country. All of you are requested to work in this direction more expeditiously and the work should be completed within a stipulated time.

Friends,

The country is rapidly transforming the lives of the poor, Dalits, the victims, the exploited and the deprived following the footsteps of Babasaheb Ambedkar. Babasaheb talked about equal opportunities and equal rights. Today, schemes like Jan Dhan accounts are leading to financial inclusion of every person and through DBT money is reaching directly to their accounts.  The BHIM UPI that was launched for the digital economy has become a great strength for the poor today. Today, every poor person is getting a house and free electricity connection. Similarly, work is in the progress to provide clean water to villages under the Jal Jeevan Mission.

When there was a corona crisis, the country stood up for the poor and the labourers. There is no discrimination among the poor and the rich in the world's largest vaccination program. This is the path shown by Babasaheb and these are his ideals.

Friends,

Babasaheb always emphasized on women empowerment and made many efforts in this direction. It is with this vision that the country is giving new opportunities to its daughters today. From toilets at home and schools to combat roles in the army, women are at the centre of every policy of the country today.

Similarly, the country is working to spread Babasaheb's message to the people. The places associated with Babasaheb are being developed as Panch Teerth.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to dedicate the Dr. Ambedkar International Centre. Today, this Centre is emerging as a centre of research on social and economic issues and on Babasaheb's life.

Friends,

Today, we are close to 75 years of independence, and we have goals for the next 25 years. The country’s future, the future goals and successes of the country are linked to our youth. It is our youth who will fulfill these resolutions. We have to give opportunities to the youth of the country to the best of their ability.

I am confident that our collective resolve and conscious efforts of the education world will realise this dream of a New India.

Our efforts and the hard work will be our tribute to Babasaheb.

With these good wishes, I once again thank you all very much. I wish you all the very best on Navratri. I also extend my special greetings on the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Many thanks.