Vice President calls for stregthening regional cooperation

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Chandigarh, Jan 16 (UNI) Vice President of India, M Hamid Ansari today called for stregthening regional cooperation for mutual benefit and said that unversities could play a very important role in this.

"The possibilities of regional cooperation are endless and it is in the detached precincts of a university that these exercises in futurology can be undertaken", Dr Ansari said while delivering his address at the 57th annual Convocation of the Panjab University here.

Pointing out that Punjab was the nearest point in India to a neighbourhood which has a deep rooted people-to-people relationship with this country, Dr Ansari said that this ancient trade route could once again become a highway of trade, cultural interaction and regional cooperation.

Punjab cannot rest on its laurels as the changing patterns of life bring forth new problems at the local, regional and national levels, he said. As the world changes and new vistas unfold, the youth of Punjab should seize new opportunities, he advised the students present on the occasion.

While pointing out that a university degree was once considered a recipe for steady and dignified existence in a society characterised by settled equations and relationships, the Vice President observed that a Bachelors degree had almost become irrelevant and the determinant for 'naukaris' (jobs) are now decidedly different. Changes in life styles, demographic profiles and life expectancy had impacted adversely on expectations from pension, the moment of eventual demise, statistically speaking, stood deferred, he added.

The Vice President refered to the contributions made by Panjab University in various fields and said that the University had played a significant role in Punjab's overall contribution to national life.

On the occasion Dr Ansari, who is the Chancellor of the University confered the Degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) to Nobel laureate Prof Rajinder K Panchauri for his outstanding copntribution as an enviornmentalist and his intellectual and professional accomplishment as a distinguished academician. As Prof Panchauri was not present on the occasion, the degree would be sent to him.

The University also confered the Degree of Doctor of Literature (honoris causa) on renowed film maker Yash Chopra in recognition of his personel attainments, eminent position, his intellectual and professional accomplishments. Mr Chopra received the degree from the Chancellor.

Besides Degrees of Doctor of Literature (honoris causa) were also conference on former Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University G K Chadha for his contributions as an intellectual and an economist and well known Punjabi writer Dr Pritam Singh in recognition of his personel attainments and his professional accomplishments as a distinguished academician.

In addition the University also awarded degrees to 564 students and medals to another 159 students for their performance in academics. University Vice Chancellor read out the annual performance report of the university at the commencement of the Convocation.


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