Solan: Himachal Pradesh Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla presided over the 12th Convocation of Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni in Solan district, today. Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu was present as Chief Guest on the occasion.
The Governor in presence of the Chief Minister awarded merit certificates to 773 students. Apart from this, 1305 students were awarded B.Sc. Horticulture and B.Sc. Forestry, B.Tech Bio-Technology, M.B.A./A.B.M., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in horticulture and forestry. The Chief Minister conferred 23 Gold medals to the meritorious students out of which 20 gold medals have been awarded to girl students on the occasion.
The Governor also conferred honorary degree to Chief Managing Director, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited Nand Lal Sharma and Deputy Director General, Education, Indian Agriculture Research Council Rakesh Chand Aggarwal. On the occasion, the Governor appealed to the youth to benefit the society by using the various startups run by the Government of India and the State Government. He said that they should move towards self-employment and need to become a job provider.
Congratulating the gold medal winners and the students who received degrees, the Governor appealed to them to contribute towards nation building. He expressed happiness that girl students got maximum degrees and gold medals. He said that they should take their research work to the fields so that farmers could benefit from it. “Until the research done by scientists comes out of the laboratories and books and reaches the fields practically, research is useless,” He said and added that it was the duty of young scientists to solve farmer’s problems in their farms and also the solution should be delivered to them on time.
Shukla said that only youth could bring change in the society. The knowledge from textbooks could be practical only when it can be put to use by society. “A degree does not only mean employment but there is a need to think about how the knowledge acquired can be used for society”, said the Governor.
Emphasizing the need to reduce farmers’ dependence on various chemical pesticides, he said that it was possible only when farmers were motivated towards natural farming. He expressed contentment that the university has initiated many important steps towards adopting a natural farming system.
The Governor stressed the need for further improvement in the performance of Nauni University in the ranking. Currently, it is placed 17th in Indian Council of Agricultural Research ranking. He expressed happiness that the University has introduced the Academic Management System. “This system will help the university to follow best academic practices in education and digitization and create a data bank of academic records”, he added.
Shukla also stressed on promoting interdisciplinary studies and international collaboration. “Only by sharing research and innovation with each other, the challenges facing the country and the world can be faced”, He said. He described intensive research as the need of the hour and stressed on the use of information technology to bring speed and quality in work in the changing perspective. He said that for this, there was a need to pay more attention to e-education and technical discussions.
On the occasion, Himachal Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu congratulated all the gold medal winners and announced a reward of Rs 10,000 for each gold medalist. He expressed well wishes for a bright future of all the students and emphasized that challenges are inevitable, but success comes through resilience. He also encouraged the youth to recognize and preserve India’s rich cultural heritage.
“Girls are shining in every field and have been proved today as 20 out of 23 students receiving gold medals were girls. The state government is committed to empowering women, with women holding key decision-making roles and working as DCs and SPs in many districts”, said Sh. Sukhu. He reiterated that a 30 percent reservation in police recruitment would be provided to women by the state government. A committee has been formed to consider raising the legal age of marriage of girls from 18 to 21 years, emphasizing the importance of women’s involvement in societal progress.
Sharing memories of his student days, the Chief Minister said he spent memorable years of his life in Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla and afterwards entered into active politics. He said that youth was the future of Himachal.
Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu highlighted the challenging economic situation of the state, emphasizing the government’s focus on improving the quality of education. He expressed concern about the high individual debt exceeding Rs. 1 lakh per person and the unsustainable reliance on continuous borrowing. He said that the state government was committed to make tough decisions to ensure future generations’ benefit, despite the Union Government having reduced the borrowing limit to Rs 6600 crore. “Despite limited resources, the government aims to revitalize the state’s economy over the next decade and is actively working towards System Revamp,” he said.
The State Government has adopted 4000 orphans as ‘Children of the State’ and by enacting a law, making it the responsibility of the State Government to take care of them for upto 27 years, he reiterated. Mukhya Mantri Sukh-Aashraya Yojana ensures full state support until the age of 27 years, covering their care, higher education, hostel expenses, and providing Rs 4000 as pocket money. Orphans receive financial aid of Rs 2 lakh for startup, three Biswa land for housing, Rs 3 lakh financial assistance for home construction, and Rs 2 lakh for marriage, remarked the Chief Minister.
Emphasizing the need for youth to embrace self-employment, he said that given the geographical conditions of Himachal, the upcoming budget would prioritize and promote natural farming. “The state government aims to boost farmers’ income by introducing new provisions in the upcoming budget to ensure a stable revenue stream. Plans include connecting families in each assembly constituency to natural farming, with the state government committed to purchasing products and offering lucrative rates for those produced through natural farming practices” said Sh. Sukhu.
The state government has launched the first phase of the Rs. 680 crore Rajiv Gandhi Self-Employment Start-Up Scheme, offering 500 permits for e-taxi to the youth, said the Chief Minister and added that a 50 percent subsidy was being offered for the purchase of e-taxis. The government aims to promote solar energy projects, offering financial aid and a 25-year commitment to purchase generated electricity. Additionally, self-employment initiatives in agriculture and horticulture sectors are also in the pipeline. He congratulated CMD SJVN, Nand Lal Sharma and Deputy Director General ICAR, R.C. Aggarwal who received honorary degrees as well.
Vice Chancellor, Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry Dr. Rajeshwar Chandel detailed various achievements and other activities of the University. He said that the University has focussed more on research activities. He thanked the state government for providing financial assistance of rupees four crore for research in natural farming and development. He disclosed that graduation and post-graduation courses in natural farming were being started in the university from the next academic session. The state government has provided Rs. 2.50 crore for pursuing research work in the university which would be allocated to the different departments through 41 projects, he added.
Registrar of the University Narender Chauhan proposed a vote of thanks. Later, the Governor and the Chief Minister inaugurated Rs 1.16 crore Skill Development Hostel and Rs. 40 lakh Vivekananda Yoga & Meditation Center.
Health & Family Welfare Minister, Dr. (Col) Dhani Ram Shandil, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Sanjay Awasthy, MLA, Doon AC, Vinod Sultanpuri, Members of the University Senate, Board of Management and Academic Council, statutory officers of the University, staff, student community, graduate and post-graduate degree holders and their parents were also present on the occasion.