Gangtok, 03 Nov [IPR]: President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, presented gold medals to the top-11 students from various schools and affiliated colleges under Sikkim University on the occasion of the 5th Convocation ceremony of Sikkim University here at Manan Kendra, Gangtok, today. The President was accompanied by First Lady Savita Kovind.

On his arrival, the President was received and welcomed by the Governor, the Chief Minister, and Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and Registrar of Sikkim University.

After the academic procession and National Anthem, the Convocation Ceremony was declared open by the Registrar of Sikkim University.

The President and other dignitaries were presented with the Convocation Memento followed by presentation of a brief report of Sikkim University by the University Vice Chancellor Dr. Avinash Khare.

Thereafter, Chancellor of Sikkim University, Lt. Gen. (Dr.) DB Shekatkar, conferred the degrees and awarded Silver and Gold Medals, and Special Gold Medals.

The President, in his Convocation address, expressed happiness on his visit to Sikkim for the Convocation ceremony of Sikkim University.

He said that he has laid great interest and priority on higher education and that he was happy to be among students and academicians.

Addressing the students who were conferred with degrees on the occasion, the President urged them to be prepared for the responsibilities and challenges that lie ahead. He stressed that the goal of education was to make good human beings and added that it was the key to being successful in any profession.

The President congratulated all the students and their parents and guardians for their accomplishment.

He reminded the audience that Sikkim University has evolved into a unique centre of higher learning in just twelve years of its establishment.

He added that practices such as gender equality, emphasis on preserving the language, culture, heritage and environmental conservation, as well as the Centre for Endangered Languages has raised the bar of Sikkim University as a model Institution for the overall enhancement of intellectual learning in the entire North East region.

He suggested that Sikkim University start a practice called ‘University Social Responsibility’ on the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility. He said that USR could entail activities like adoption of nearby villages and carrying out service activities like immunization, nutrition camp, cleanliness, free education and other such services which would add value to the lives of people in need.

Speaking about the natural bounty of Sikkim and its good practices, the President said that the people of Sikkim were known for their civic sense and hospitality. He also lauded the state of Sikkim for its effort in bio-diversity conservation, promotion of overall hygiene, tourism, promotion of communal and cultural harmony, women empowerment, education development, and maintenance of its cultural heritage and places of worship.

He stated that Sikkim has created a unique place for itself among the Himalayan states of India courtesy its unique practices and development model. He also made a mention of famous sports persons from Sikkim namely Baichung Bhutia, Nirmal Chettri and Tarundeep Rai who have brought laurels to the State and the country.

In conclusion, the President wished the State all the success for its future endeavours and expressed hope that the students who have passed out from Sikkim University will spread the good practices of Sikkim both nationally and globally.

The Governor, also the Chief Rector of SU, in his address, congratulated all the students on being awarded their degrees in the presence of the President of India. He expressed his gratitude to the President for his visit to Sikkim and added that his visit has added great value to the State.

Congratulating the students on their success, the Governor stated that they should be grateful to every person who have directly or indirectly contributed to their academic success.

He urged the students to embrace the new phase of their lives with great confidence and with a feeling of indebtedness towards the society. He further urged them to equip themselves for nation building and to carry forward the legacy left behind by our forefathers. He added that each student should work with the goal to win back the lost glory of India as a great centre of knowledge.

The Governor expressed happiness at the initiatives being taken by Sikkim University to impart multi-disciplinary knowledge and at the same time preserving the local and regional ethos and values like morality, sensibility and humanity.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang [Golay], profusely thanked the President of India for his visit to Sikkim. He congratulated the faculty, officials and students for successfully organizing the Convocation ceremony.

He said that Sikkim University has established itself as a core body for higher education in the State, with great all-round progress made in the last one decade. The Chief Minister stated that the State aims to make Sikkim University the focal point for teaching and research activities especially on bio-diversity conservation and the language and culture of Sikkim.

He added that the State is deliberating on an improved education policy, which was projected in the maiden budget of the Government. He maintained that the new education policy will create an enabling environment in the State for the youth to grow in the academic field.

The Convocation ceremony was declared closed by the Registrar, Sikkim University, followed by National Anthem and departure of the President and dignitaries.