Date : 25th December, 2011

Today is Atalji’s birthday. For last many consecutive years, we organize this ‘Kankaria Carnival’ from 25th December to 31st December. Through this one programme, we are able to express our love for this city and can see the changes that are taking place in the city life. Whenever there were discussions on the cities of our country, they spinning around Delhi, Kolkata, Madras, Bangalore, Mumbai… Ahmedabad was not in the list of first ten. Today Ahmedabad has secured number one position in the whole country. I congratulate the citizens of this city, I congratulate the officers of the Corporation for enhancing the glory, fame and prestige of the same day after day.

 This ‘Kankaria Carnival’… Poor children of this city, children living in slums, studying in Municipal Primary Schools… they have the same capability as we have. The God has given them the same strength as what we have. But, they never got a chance to show their talent. Whether it’s ‘Patangotsav’ or ‘Kankaria Carnival’, we have always given opportunities to these children of poor families. When they show their creativity, express their ability in front of the enlightened citizens of this city, the exposure that they get, the confidence level which is built up from it at that time, adds up in the strength of this city and for that endless efforts are made by this city.

 Today this city has received many new rewards, they have been initiated. Whether it’s about swimming pool for children or very old Balwantrai Hall or a Butterfly Park that kids would like very much… Today another new thing is added to Ahmedabad city. The murals on the rock depicting the map of this city, its social-cultural journey of progress, pages of its development, memories of the prominent people of this city… in the same way, Gujarat, its development journey, great people who contributed in the economical, social, educational, cultural and in all other fields, important incidences of the State… all of these are being sculptured on the inner side of the boundary wall of Kankaria lake. Friends, No one would have ever imagined that the wall of Kankaria lake could be used in such a wonderful way. Today only a small portion has been formed, but once the murals get completed around entire Kankaria, at that time its length would be about 30,000 feet. At present, the longest sand stone mural, which is considered to be the largest in the world, is of 9000 feet. This will be of 30,000 feet. This will be the biggest world record credited to Ahmedabad. Those who want to know the history, who want to understand the ups and downs of Gujarat, want to go through the memorable incidences of Gujarat, for them these sculpted open encyclopedia, will become a means of knowledge. It is my request to the citizens of this city, to those who are historians, connected with literature, associated with arts and culture, those who are analysts, critics… they spare some time in next two three months and view our novel idea from the analytical view point and point out flaws in the mural or suggest whether it needs anything to be added… and I request such experts to come and spare their valuable couple of hours for the future of this city, for the future of children. I am giving an open invitation to all. View it minutely, give us suggestions, so that we can include it in the remaining work in the area of 30,000 feet. To make it more presentable, I am interested in public participation. So as to descend your knowledge and experience on the rocks, this city, this state is asking for your help. We are doing one of the best kinds of work. In future, a boat ride along with audio commentary would provide a crash course on heritage of the city and the state by studying the huge murals on the wall. The pedestrians can also study the tablets kept over there and those who wish to watch along with audio commentary, may prevail the benefit of it also. Those who visit Kankaria now, can experience such a nice use of it.

Friends, after the renovation of Kankaria, nearly 90 or more delegations from the world, from foreign countries, visited here and have studied the renovated Kankaria. Intellectual citizens, well-to-do citizens of this city, who seldom gave a passing glance towards Kankaria. Now they are seen visiting Kankaria in Rolls-Royce Cars along with their guests. A reputation of Kankaria has been established. Even the richest and the wealthiest people feel inferior if they have not seen Kankaria, now they feel proud to visit Kankaria.

The citizens of this city have preserved this Kankaria. Otherwise, mismanagement, littering, dirtiness, damaging… this is very common in our country, but hats-off to the citizens of Ahmedabad, to all the citizens of the State and to all the national and international tourists, who have visited Kankaria. I want to congratulate as crores of people visited here but not even a minor problem is ever created, not even a single leaf of any tree is plucked, this is a great deed, Friends..! We have preserved it and it is such a deed that we can introduce our this strength to the world. Cleanliness is maintained, waste has not been thrown anywhere and if any visitor shows even a small waste, he himself gets up and throws it in the dustbin. Kankaria has given a new culture to this city. I am confident that Kankaria will become an inspiration to establish such high standards in the whole city.

Friends, our ‘Kids City’… Many people are coming here to study it. To develop the inner strength among the kids, to awake their dreams, rather to sow the dreams, there may not be any other better source than this. Whenever a tiny tot goes to ‘Kids City’ and in the evening when he comes out, he is overwhelmed and a new dream is planted into his mind, a wish to become someone arises in his mind. Since he himself becomes a part of the experiment, he carries confidence that yes, today I can do this, when I grow up, I can become this also. A place of seeding such dreams… I want all the kids to get an opportunity to plant a dream here at ‘Kids City’. It is my invitation to all kids and their parents of Gujarat. This is for you, for our kids. To make tomorrow of Gujarat prosperous, to playfully imbibe this cultural heritage, as if Kankaria has become a new capital, a new source of inspiration, and we all must take the advantage of the same.

Ladies & Gentlemen, about 1.50 crore people visit here and this does not include those 25-30 lakhs people visit during ‘Kankaria Carnival’, because we don’t have any ticket system during that time. But those people who purchased regular tickets and enterd Kankaria from the gate, that figure comes out to be 1.50 crores. You just think, how great need it was for the poor and middle class people of this State, we have fulfilled this need. Because if a common man wants to go for outing with his family, where shall he go? Where would he find an open space? And today he has found it. In the past, ‘Bal Vatika’ and Zoo were just in the neglected condition. Because of the renovation of this Kankaria, they also have become a new centre of attraction for the people. New suggestions and schemes are coming forward for their development and extension as well.

 Ladies & Gentlemen, let us take the full fledged advantage of this. Let us preserve this city, the way this Kankaria is preserved. As Kankaria has come up with a new identity of city‘s fame, glory and prestige, I am inaugurating today’s Carnival. On Atalji’s birthday, the State is ever ready to accept the message of his ‘Good Governance’ and is determined and trying to move forward in that direction and trying for the same.

Best wishes to all of you..!!

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Text of PM’s Address at the 95th Meeting of AIU and National Seminar of Vice Chancellors
April 14, 2021
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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.