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Dalai Lama inaugurates Tibetan Centre at 24th Convocation

5 September, 2011

A new centre for Tibetan Studies was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama at the campus of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) today, during the 24th convocation of the University. He was also awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) in recognition of his contributions to the world peace and development from the University.


“When you talk about Tibetan Studies, all the important subject matter is taken from the Indian tradition. Historically, due to Buddhism spreading in Tibet, we share the guru-disciple relationship. It is all your treasure which we studied, practiced and followed the whole life. Now is the time to return to the original source. The establishment of the centre can show the usefulness of study of inner science,” said the Tibetan spiritual leader while announcing the inauguration of the centre.

“There are around 300 volumes of Buddhist text translated from India, specifically from Pali language and very few from Chinese language. These can be summed up in three heads: science, concept and Buddhist religion. Science explains mainly the inner science, mind and emotions to apprise oneself with the reality. Concept explains the absence of independent existence while religion tells us how to pray and maintain contact with the inner realms.”

He also emphasised upon the constructive and destructive uses of education. “To use it in a constructive way, one must have more inner strength with self restraint. Moral ethics is the basis of happy individual, community and family.”

In the ceremony held in Delhi, Dr. D. Purandeswari, Minister of State for Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) emphasised upon the low literacy rate of women. “Our literacy rate before independence was 18 percent which has now increased to 65 percent according to the 2011 census. Education must be considered as a leveler to remove the inequalities. No nation can progress leaving the half population behind. The multiplier effect must be taken into account.”

Mr. E. Ahamed, Minister of State (MOS) for Ministry of External Affairs and HRD focused upon creating technology enabled distance education with multimodal education delivery. “The Open Distance Learning (ODL) opened doors for the marginalised sections in the society. The growth enrollment is only one-fourth of that in the urban areas. It is much lower for the SC’s/ST’s, 11 percent in females and 15 percent for males.”

There were 23,780 bachelor’s degrees, 12,482 master’s degrees, 3 Ph.D.’s, 29, 269 diplomas and 46,364 certificates distributed during the ceremony with 28 gold medalists from Delhi and 9 cash awards recipients.

Mr. Ujwol Sreshtha, an international student, for securing highest marks in his Masters in Sociology received Prof. G. Ram Reddy Memorial Gold medal. Ms. Sini K. Nair after completing MCA received CEMCA cash award of Rs. 10,000 for the best IGNOU female student in any degree programme pertaining to technology. Mr. Stalin, completing Bachelor’s of Social Work, received Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Award (gold medal and cash of Rs.10,000). Ms. Pooja Sharma, completing Masters of Social Work received Mother Teresa Memorial Award ODL Gold medal and cash prize of Rs.10,000.

For the first time, five cash awards of Rs. 5,000 each were also distributed to the on-campus students of the Masters in Social Work in collaboration with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).

On-campus students: Ms. Pooja received Acharya Vinobha Bhave Best Female Field worker award, Mr. Harish Kumar received Baba Amte Best Male Field Worker award, Shahid Habib Ansari received Dr. Cliffiord Manshardt Award for best make social worker, Pooja Mehta received Sr. Maria Faustina Pereira award for best female social worker and Rajkumar Shukla received Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil Best Student Award.

There were 1,11,898 lakh students in all who received their laurels in 44 Regional Centres of the University which was telecast live through IGNOU’s Gyanvani and Gyandarshan TV channels. The Vice Chancellor of IGNOU, Prof. V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai during his address presented his report wherein he listed the milestones achieved by the university in these years.

He emphasised upon the multimodal delivery of education through the convergence scheme which integrates the conventional and the ODL system. “As many as 488 Partner Institutions (PI’s) are participating in the scheme and 36 new institutions have been added. Students undergoing courses in vocational education were allowed to also enroll for vocational courses of IGNOU and have been made eligible to get degrees or diplomas from both the systems.”

Terming IGNOU as a ‘research hub’ he said that, “16 colleges/ institutes which are promoting higher learning have been recognized as research centers by the university for admitting Ph.D candidates.”

Speaking on reaching the unreached the VC said, “More than 79,800 SC/ST students have enrolled for its programmes. Several educationally and academically backward areas have been identified and programme centers have been started in these areas. In order to ensure better educational opportunities for the disabled, IGNOU has entered into collaboration with the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) for imparting education and training.”