Vice president M Venkaiah Naidu Monday termed beef festivals and “Kiss of Love” protests on university campuses “unhealthy trends” while expressing concern over growing tensions among students in higher education on grounds of caste, religion, food habits and culture.
Inaugurating the year-long diamond jubilee celebrations of National Institute of Technology, Warangal (NITW) at its campus, he said it was unfortunate that there have been conflicts among students in the name of caste and religion in some universities and other higher institutions.
Referring to the controversies over holding of beef festivals on some campuses, the vice president said it was not correct on the part of some groups to impose their food habits on others. “If they like a particular food and want to celebrate it, they can have private parties separately. They don’t have to make it a public issue on the campus,” he said.
Venkaiah Naidu also cited another controversy on holding “Kiss of Love” protests by the students and youth. “If you want to do kissing, go and do it in your rooms, why in public? This is not our culture,” he said.
On growing intolerance in the society, the vice president said it was highly reprehensible on the part of the people to fight in the name of caste and religion. “There is no place for religious or caste intolerance in India. Religion is personal and a way of life. We need to live with mutual respect towards our religion and culture,” he said.
He said that science and technology should ultimately result in the betterment of human condition, and also called for innovation in technology, which was the need of the hour to make India a global economic power. “India is committed to build a five trillion-dollar economy by 2025, making India the third largest consumer market in the world. If India has to sustain the growth, it has to go for an innovation overdrive, as it cannot afford to be obsolete anymore,” he said.
Stating that India has always been known for its frugal innovations, the vice-president said these would help combat corruption and pilferage of subsidies. “As India is prepared to cut the red tape and lay the red carpet to invite the world, we have to focus on simplifying and making our procedures transparent,” he said.
The vice president also stressed the need for colleges such as NIT to have linkages with the industry as well as with the alumni. He complimented the proactive alumni base of NIT, Warangal for coming together to build a modern convention centre on the campus.
NITW director Prof NV Ramana Rao, Dean, International Relations & Alumni Affairs, Prof KV Jayakumar, other deans, faculty members and officials and students of NIT’s different branches were present on the occasion.