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Published on Friday, November 26, 2010 at 1214 Hrs. IST


Introductory Address:

by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. J. Shashidhara Prasad

I offer my most humble and loving pranams at the lotus feet of our beloved Bhagawan and pray to invoke the blessings of our Lord and Divine Master.

Aum Saiswaraaya Vidmahe
Sathya Devaaya Dheemahi
Tannah sarvah prachodayaath

Most Revered Chancellor, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Prof. Manmohan Singh, His Excellency the Governor of Andhra  Pradesh Shri E S L Narasimhan, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Shri K. Rosaiah, His Excellency the Governor of Punjab Shri Shivraj Patil, Hon’ble Union Minister of Steel Shri Veerbhadra Singh, Hon’ble Justice Bhagwati, Shri Ratan Tata, Distinguished guests Former Vice-Chancellors, Members of the Trusts, Governing Body, and Academic Council, Members of the Faculty, Graduates of the year, students of the Institute and my dear Sai brothers and sisters,

        I deem it a great privilege to extend a most cordial welcome to all of you to the twenty-ninth Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.

        Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning was founded by the Avatar of the Age Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba as one of the instruments of His divine Mission. The vision of Swami in establishing Institutions of higher learning is exemplified by the following quote:

“This Institution has not been established just to prepare you for earning degrees. The main purpose is to help you cultivate Self-knowledge and Self-confidence, so that each one of you can learn Self-sacrifice and earn Self-realisation. Teaching you the University curricula, preparing you for the University examinations and awarding you University degrees – these are only means employed for the end, namely – spiritual uplift, Self-discovery and social service through love and detachment. Our objective is to provide the youth with an education, which while cultivating their intelligence, will also purify their impulses and emotions, and equip them with the physical and mental disciplines needed for drawing upon the springs of calmness and joy that lie in their own hearts. Our hope is that by your lives, you will be shining examples of spiritual awareness and its beneficial consequences to the individual and society.”

I have the pleasure and good fortune to welcome you today to this august Institution of higher learning.
        It is indeed our good fortune that we have in our midst a person of the eminence of Prof. Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, who is one of the most brilliant academicians and economists of our times as the Chief Guest. After obtaining his higher education in Punjab University and Cambridge and Oxford universities, he had a successful academic career in higher educational institutions of repute. He was holding the position of Chairperson of University Grants Commission, when he was inducted as Union Finance Minister in the early nineties at the time, the country was experiencing economic crisis. With his able guidance and the active support of the then Prime Minister, he was able to steer the economy out of the red and in particular the crisis of foreign exchange reserve. Dr. Manmohan Singh has brought dignity to all the positions he held during his professional career as Professor, Governor of Reserve Bank of India, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, and Economic Adviser to Prime Minister. He has instilled a sense of pride to the academic community by his personal and professional achievements. Dr. Singh has established to be the most qualified politician and leader in the world. He has proved to be a tough and tenacious leader in guiding the destiny of the country and the best example of simple living and high thinking. We are grateful to him for having made it convenient to be the Chief Guest in spite of his busy schedule in connection with the Parliament session and other preoccupations.

        The Values based Integral Education propounded by Bhagawan Baba is referred to as Educare – the dictum of which is education is for life and not for living. This model lays stress on purifying the impulses and emotions and equip the students with physical and mental disciplines needed for drawing upon the springs of calmness and joy that lie in their hearts and that they will be shining examples of spiritual awareness and its beneficial consequences to the individual and society in addition to cultivating their intelligence and knowledge in formal subjects.

        The Sai experiment has stood the test of time as evidenced by the impact made by the students who have passed out of the portals of this great Institution of Bhagawan. A large number of letters of appreciation are being received from the employers, CEOs and Administrators regarding their integrity, work ethics, concern for society and environment, dealing with different types of people, working in teams, coolness in taking decisions, time management, patience and perseverance, and leadership. I am very happy to high light that over the past five years, sixteen percent of the students who have completed postgraduate courses have passed in GATE/UGC-CSIR NET Examinations which is much above the national average.

        With the blessings of Bhagawan, the Institute is planning for enhancing the research facilities and thereby research activities by attracting the talent from across the country and abroad. The research to be undertaken here will be socially relevant and community oriented.  With the presence of two super speciality hospitals and two general hospitals, some of the thrust areas which are identified include Nano science, drug design and drug delivery, biomedical engineering, sensors, smart materials, structure and function of proteins, protein-protein interaction and epidemiological studies. I hope it will not be out of context if I take the liberty to quote from the Convocation address of the Hon’ble Prime Minister at the 14th Convocation of this Institute:

“Blessed indeed are the students who have had the privilege of going        through an education programme which combines deep appreciation of the method of modern science and technology and the ancient     Indian knowledge and wisdom accumulated over the centuries. This type of education can be a powerful means of self-perfection and social redemption.”

        The Institutions built by Bhagawan Baba are fortunate to have His loving guidance and counselling day in and day out in the training of messengers of transformation. I pray Swami to bless each one of us to play our role, however small it is, in His mission of redemption of the world.

        I have great pleasure in welcoming you all and our Chief Guest in particular to this Convocation.