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SEMINAR OF VICE CHANCELLORS ON VALUE EDUCATION AND ETHICS


Sitting with Bhagavan (from left to right) Justice Ranganath Mishra, Justice Malimath, Sri S. V. Giri and Dr. G. Venkataraman.


SRI SATHYA SAI INSTITUTE of Higher Learning was requested by the University Grants Commission to host its Golden Jubilee Seminar of Vice Chancellors devoted to "Value Education and Ethics".The historic Seminar was inaugurated by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Revered Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in the morning on Tuesday, October 28th with His Divine Discourse. The inaugural function was also addressed by Dr. Arun Nigavekar, Chairman, University Grants Commission, Sri S.V. Giri, Vice Chancellor, SSSIHL, Dr. G. Venkataraman, former Vice Chancellor, SSSIHL and Justice Ranganath Mishra, former Chief Justice of India. Dr. Nigavekar' expressed his gratitude to Bhagavan, and prayed for His blessings for the success of the Seminar. He also stressed how SSSIHL which had the unique distinction of actually putting into practice a value-oriented educational system under His Divine guidance, was the most suitable venue for the Seminar.

In His inaugural Divine Discourse, which gave the most appropriate direction to the deliberations of the Seminar, Bhagavan declared that education without values was not only useless but certainly dangerous. He emphasised that Love was the basic ingredient of all human values be it Dharma, Sathya, Santhi or Ahimsa. Love is God and God is Love. Clearly, no system of values is meaningful unless it is God-centred. Drawing a distinction between information, knowledge and wisdom Bhagavan explained how the power of discrimination leads a student from one to another, through a system of true education. Only such a system of education aiming at character building would ensure a happy world. But today man had forgotten that he had three layers of existence - mind, body and Atma (MBA). While most are only conscious, some experienced conscience, and very few live in consciousness. The Atma indeed is consciousness. It was indeed reassuring to hear Bhagavan's declaration that spiritual knowledge and self-transformation were within everyone's reach. Education must inspire students to enquire "Who Am I?" This was the key to everything else. With these inspiring words, Bhagavan blessed the deliberations of the Seminar.

The Seminar was attended by 25 Vice Chancellors from reputed universities across the country from Himachal Pradesh in the north to Kerala in the south and from Orissa in the east to Maharashtra in the west. The variety of universities they represented was quite rich in many ways. Women's universities, agricultural universities, deemed universities (State and Central universities), and open universities were all represented at the Seminar.

In addition to the inaugural and the valedictory functions, the deliberations of the Seminar were spread over several sessions devoted to policy framework and an operational model; integral approach to education and educational philosophy; science, technology and value inculcation; service orientation and responsible citizenship; management education and value orientation; and the basic role of teacher education.

The afternoon programmes on the first two days held in Sai Kulwant Hall in the Divine Presence of Bhagavan Baba consisted of recapitulation of the day's proceedings in the Business Sessions, followed by presentations by the students of SSSIHL These presentations showed how inculcation of values formed an essential ingredient of the Institute's educational process. On the first day, three students Sri Deepak Anand, Sri Sanjay Mahalingam and Sri Jaipreet S. Bhandari led by one young faculty member Sri Srinivas Srirangarajan made a marvellous presentation of the purpose, modus operand! and spiritual dimensions of the "Grama Seva" programme involving teachers and students of all the three campuses. On the second day, five students of the Institute Sri Shashank Shah, Sri Y. Sriranganatha Raju, Sri V. Jagannandan, Sri S. Jagadish Chandra and Kum. Deepti Bhagia spoke in English, Sanskrit, Telugu and Hindi.The loftiness of the thoughts, lucidity of expression and the emotional touch of the feelings flowing from their hearts held the entire audience in rapture and total admiration. The students outlined what they were learning at the Institute to enrich their lives and how this type of education would make them better citizens of tomorrow in the service of the country and the world.

On the third afternoon (on 30th October), Prof. V.S. Prasad, Director NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) and two of the Vice Chancellors Prof. K. Sudha Rao and Prof. N. Jayasankaran expressed their sense of fulfilment on visiting Prasanthi Nilayam and how much they had learnt about true education during their three-day stay in the Divine Presence of Bhagavan. Afternoon functions in Sai Kulwant Hall started with soul-stirring vibrations of exquisite Veda chanting on all days.

The Vice Chancellors were of the unanimous view that Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning should be recognised as the National Centre of Excellence for Value Education and, in a step-by-step process, the success story of Integral Education of the Institute should be disseminated for wider adoption in the country's Higher  Education system.


SOURCED: SANATHANA SARATHI  NOVEMBER 2003 EDITION PG NOS 351-352