New Delhi: Asserting that the country needed an image make-over, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Saturday said youths should strive to change the perception of India being "a nation of holidays to one of people who enjoy work".
Asking students to be the "agents of change", Sibal said they need to understand the real value of education over and above its commercial value.
Addressing students and teachers at the 88th annual convocation of the University of Delhi here this morning, Sibal said today`s was a world where intellectual capital has become the primary mover of organisations and nations, opening
up immense opportunities and avenues for individuals to succeed.
He, however, cautioned the students against falling into the debate over whether moral values were an obstacle to success.
"We are living in a world where commercialisation has cast a shadow on our ethics and value systems, also impacting our education system... in such a way that students with ideological values are discouraged.
"The value of education has been reduced to acquiring certificates and degrees for getting jobs and the rush to take shortcuts to success has pushed moral values into the background," Sibal said.
He said in an environment where education had become commercialised to the extent that seats in many private colleges were virtually up for sale, the students have failed to undertsand the real value of education.
Sibal then told the students that their contribution was vital for transforming India and meeting the challenges of a rapidly globalising world.
"We need to become a nation of hard workers... hard work not resources helped Japan rise up after the devastation of World War II. We need to change the perception of India being a nation of holidays to one of people who enjoy work,"
Sibal spoke after Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh awarded doctorate degrees to 282 candidates from various disciplines including Humanities, Science, Medicine, Social Sciences, among others.
The minister also gave away the gold medals to the University toppers at the graduate and post graduate level, a whopping majority of whom were girls. Over 120 of the gold medals of the 186 on offer were won by women candidates.