Sri Pranab Mukherjee
Hon'ble President ,Govt. of India
Vice Chancellor University of Technology Prof. Thakur, Prof. Sujit Basu, Vice Chancellor of Viswa Bharati, Member of Parliament, Sri Bangsogopal Choudhury, my colleague Prof. Pradip Bhattacharya, Prof. Manjula Mukerjee, Prof. Sibabrata Chatterji and the galaxy of eminent persons of Durgapur and Govt. officials present here. We have all assembled here today in connection with the inauguration of the Durgapur Public Institute which is a unit of the Indian Institute of Psychometry, Kolkata. Just before me Prof. Biswanath Banerjee, the President of the Asiatic Society presented his deliberations. Asiatic Society is Indian's oldest institution of Oriental Studies. He presented certain crucial points from his rich practical experience. Apart from the personal behaviour and responsibility of teachers they should also act as the technician responsible for the man-making task. As a member of the society each individual has some definite obligation to it. Because whatever we are now has not solely been achieved either by our own efforts or the efforts of our guardians.
Take for example the following facts. In the fifties when I happened to be a student in the University of Calcutta, the fee payable for the MA course was only Rs. 12/- per month. I also studied law simultaneously and the fee payable to the University for Law was also Rs. 12/- per month. The M.A examination fee too was Rs. 80/-. Now my guardian had to pay only Rs. 288/- for two years and in exchange of that one got the facility to study in a renowned University along with the facilities of using a very rich library. Obviously, the cost involved per student is much more than what we paid. This means that the balance amount society did invest in us and as a result of which we have succeed in various areas of life. This brings us to the question of our obligation to the society and it is but logical that we should return something to it as dividend for what it did invest in us. But in practical life we to-tally forget about our obligations to the society. Earlier we all believed that State would provide all that is required for the society. The concept of Leviathan propounded earlier has been proved to be only Utopian. On the basis of later experience and universal experience it is apparent that State can provide much but not all that is required. To discuss all this UNO did organize a Social Summit in Copenhagen Denmark in 1995 where Prime Ministers and Presidents from 176 nations and representatives of various Social Organizations participated. The deliberations culminated individuals' personal obligation to the society which we discussed just now. Each one of us has some obligation towards society because society has made enormous contribution to make us what we are today. Teachers have the responsibility in developing humanity in their students because a man is not perfect unless he has in him human quality. If the teachers can do that the unrest, lack of discipline and integrity that is found in our student community will disappear. I have been associated with the Indian Institute of Psychometry for more than 25 years and on the basis of my experience I am convinced that if one has the sincerity and proper commitment then it is possible to overcome many obstacle and difficulties. I have myself witnessed from very closed quarters the driving force, sincerity and efforts brought to bear by Prof. S. Chatterji and Prof. (Mrs.) Chatterji which did work wonders. We discussed in detail about launching the Durgapur Public Institute, and sceptical about the practical difficulties in obtaining the land and other facilities. But Sri Bangsogopal Chaudhury who was the Minister and also Chairman of ADDA not only extended his helping hand but also very nicely removed the government Red Tape which has today taken shape as the DPI. The sincerity and efforts of the two founder Directors and Sri Chaudhury's helping hand has made all the possible. Another important question is that there are many schools and what extra would DPI provide, apart from providing more seats for prospective candidates? This point have been very lucidly brought out by Prof. Chatterji and Prof. Thakur in their presentation, Prof. Biswanath Banerjee did also very specifically stressed the need for "Man Making" needs. In the present age students know much more now, than we used to know in our times. Modern technology has opened up a new horizon and power to us. We do not know to what level technological developments would take us. Though we are getting good Doctors, good Engineers etc., but we are unable to seed them with human values, and so we are not able to get fully developed Human Being which our society need very much. This lack of human values is very apparent from what we, read in the Newspaper which do show how far unsympathetic we have become over the last two decades only. We have become too much egocentric and selfish. Education should look into developing much needed Human Value. In our time we have had the opportunity of having amongst us three great teachers, viz., Swami Vivekananda, Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore and Gandhiji. But we are not able to fully translate their teaching, their ideas into practice. Social forces keep on moving, no one of us is permanent and other are bound to come up and fill up the void left by us. But if the aim, the ideal with, which we start is maintained then I again confirm my belief to what Prof Banerjee also observed. If the persons at the helm are sincere and live upto the ideas what they state, then the successors would remain true to the commitment. I am confident that keeping in view the sincerity, untiring efforts and commitments exemplified by Prof. Chatterji and Mrs. Chatterji this venture would fully succeed. With these few words I close and though sixteen days have passed still I wish a Happy & Prosperous New Year for all.