Janaki Ballav Patnaik, Governor of Assam and Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, described as ‘highly distressing’ the situation in the country vis-à-vis the safety of women and attributed the moral degradation to the absence of spiritual education.
“Women are not safe in our cities and the youth is misled by what they see on the TV and Internet. Drinking has become a habit even from the school days, while drunkenness has spread from cities to the villages. States are fighting to earn more excise revenue. Should we and can we fight this evil trend of moral degradation?”, he wondered, while delivering his address at the 17th convocation of the Vidyapeetha here on Wednesday.
Apart from sciences and humanity, only the teaching of ‘Adhyatma Vidya’ (spiritual education) would make university education complete. On the deplorable state of Indian institutes of higher learning in terms of global quality, he advised universities not to confine to issuing degrees and certificates. Dr. Patnaik also hoped that the second Sanskrit Commission would consider making Sanskrit learning compulsory at the higher secondary level.
He conferred honoris causa title ‘Mahamahopadhyaya’ on scholars Ashok Kumar Kalia, Padur Puranam R. Rangarajan, Sri Raja S.Giri Acharya and ‘Vachaspati’ on Priyabrata Dash, Chaganti Koteswara Rao and S. Ranganath. Dr. Dash, who delivered the convocation address, advised the graduates to contribute to the development of their motherland. In his annual report, Vice-Chancellor Hare Krishna Satapathy spoke on the progress achieved, including the multilingual etymological dictionary project meant to prepare an encyclopaedia of all available Sanskrit words as per Paninian grammar, along with their equivalents in twelve Indian languages. “With the sanction of DRS-II to the Sahitya department, ours is the only traditional university where it has been recognised as an advanced centre of learning in research”, he added.