Twenty Fourth Convocation

The Twenty Fourth Convocation of the University was held on November 06, 2017.

Below is the Convocation address by Shri Narendra K Verma, at Nirma University, Ahmedabad.

Hon’ble Dr Karsanbhai K Patel, Chairman, Nirma Education and Research Foundation and President of the Nirma University, Dr Anup K Singh, Director General, Nirma University, distinguished faculty and staff of the University, Graduates of the Year, Invited Guests, friends from Media, Ladies and Gentlemen. Learning gives creativity, creativity leads to thinking, thinking provides knowledge, knowledge makes you great: A P J Abdul Kalam As all of you stand today at the hallowed portals of learning that has defined your education for the past few years, it will stand you in good stead to recall these inspirational lines from one of the greatest luminaries to ever occupy the highest constitutional post in the land. A seat of learning forms the bulwark of providing you with the tools to face the wider world outside; however it’s the creativity that stems from this learning that helps you to convert this learning into that vital collation of facts, information and skills that we call knowledge. And it is the harnessing of this knowledge for the greater good of humanity, society, your nation and your immediate environment that will truly define your success in the years to come, and not just material well-being and growth. To understand this and imbibe it within, is to understand the true essence of knowledge that this esteemed institute of learning has endeavoured to impart to you. Representing the field of science and specifically of Energy, it behooves me to quote a scientific axiom to explain the essence of this societal obligation. The Law of Conservation of Energy unequivocally states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be converted from one form to another. And substantial amounts of energy and positivity has been expended in imparting learning to you from these hallowed portals. And as you absorb this energy, metabolize it and expend it further, remember at all times that this nation and this society needs your contributions. Use this energy wisely; harness the creativity within. To do that, I have only one guiding light to provide you: the principle of SEEK, an apt acronym for the yearnings of the soul. The S stands for Skilling; learning is nothing if its remains devoid of skills to contribute to the society. Evaluate where you stand; have you skilled yourself well? Do your skills add to the larger scientific, managerial, technical, educational pool of the country? This government has been visionary in identifying skilling as a vital tool for national growth; now we have a Ministry dedicated purely to Skill Development. This is vital bridge for removal of disconnect between demand and supply of skilled manpower, building the vocational and technical training framework, skill up-gradation, building of new skills, and innovative thinking not only for existing jobs but also jobs that are to be created. Prestigious institutions such as the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and IIT Bombay are partners in this process; may I suggest Nirma University too become a part of this transformational initiative. To use modern-day phraseology, Skill Development is a no-brainer. And there is no end to developing new skills. I am a trained geoscientist with 35 years of industry experience in a knowledge industry, yet every day I learn new concepts in reservoir engineering, fracking and other arcane technological concepts, and try to equip myself with suitable tools to interpret the same for my decision-making. I exhort you too to make skilling and upskilling a basic ingredient of your career growth. The E stands of Employability. Learning alone will not contribute to nation building; how you harness that learning to make yourself more valuable, using the tools provided by S above, is the key to employability. Be always aware that learning may come from education, but wisdom comes from living. To live and survive in the world outside, employability is the fundamental criteria which will define the value you create for your nation and society, be mindful of the same. Now let us discuss the second E. You are learned; you have skills; and you have employability. In many ways, you are priceless for a country hungering for pioneering human resources. This is where you take the leap into the last E, Entrepreneurship. Don’t just be employable, employ. Do not just skill yourself, skill others. Give wings to your ideas, create workable templates from this ideation. Both Governmental and Private institutions are supporting entrepreneurship incubation like never before; use the opportunity. Disruption is part of our lives now; whether it is Uber disrupting car ownership, or AirBnB redefining the hotel business. Be a part of that disruption; overturn conventional wisdom to create new paradigms of business and entrepreneurship. And coming from an industry that is witnessing renewables and EVs creating potential for their own form of disruption, I request you to ideate and innovate in this new and exciting field, where potential for massive innovation exists. And once you have harnessed the three pillars of Skilling, Employability and Entrepreneurship, built on the foundations of Learning that you have imbibed in this grand institution, you have truly achieved greatness as envisaged by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, because you have truly harnessed Knowledge, the final K in SEEK. You become a contributing, valuable entity in this vast and somewhat bewildering nation of ours, with its immense possibilities and potential. Become a part of that possibility, become a part of that potential, and make this nation achieve its rightful place in the comity of nations, as dreamed by our founding fathers. Jai Hind !