India’s President Ram Nath Kovind told students at the University of Cyprus (UCy) that although technology has opened a new world of learning and has made it easier to accomplish tasks, they should continue to work hard without expectation of immediate reward in pursuit of excellence.
The Indian president concluded an official visit to Cyprus on Tuesday with a lecture at UCy entitled Youth, technology and ideas: Shaping the contours of the 21st century, and a ceremony unveiling the bust of Indian poet and Nobel Laureate in Literature Rabindranath Tagore, Kovind.
Of UCy, Kovind said “the works of Nobel Laureate Christopher Pissarides and the cutting-edge research being undertaken in this campus are truly inspirational.”
“Technology, indeed, has opened a whole new world of learning,” he said, adding that “it has also made it easier to accomplish our tasks.”
“You should, however, not get carried away by the instantaneous nature of technology. You must continue to work hard without expectation of immediate reward,” he told university students.
The pursuit of excellence, he stressed, “should be the key factor that should dominate the minds of future generations.”
Kovind quoted Tagore who said that “the highest education is that which does not merely give us information, but makes our life in harmony with all existence.”
“These words of wisdom are more relevant today when we try to find our balance in the new world of technology and environmental action,” he pointed out.
On the challenge of climate change, he said the problem was not insurmountable.
“India and Cyprus have lived in harmony with nature for centuries. It is time for us to bring back our sustainable practices into our modern lives. New age technology combined with the wisdom of the past can solve many of our ecological problems.”
Referring to the celebrations to mark the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2, India’s President said “his message of peace, compassion and justice may always guide us as we seek to create a better world for ourselves and for others.”
UCy collaborates with five higher education institutions and research centres in India to promote research and innovation and encourage academic and student mobility, its rector, Constantinos Christophides said in an introductory address.
He said Tagore’s bust will give students and guests and the community the opportunity to learn about the first non-European to win the Nobel prize in Literature.
“It will be a stimulus for discussion of literature, social sciences and the importance of culture in general,” he added.
Universities, he stressed, “are places challenging peoples’ limits, spirits and minds, daring people to put their imagination in practice.”
“Don’t limit a child to your own learning for he was born in another time,” he noted.