Prasanthi Nilayam, 22 November 2023:
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL) (Deemed to be University) held its 42nd Annual Convocation at the Sai Hira Global Convention Centre, Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh, on 22 November 2023.
Hon’ble President of India Smt. Droupadi Murmu graced the Convocation as the Chief Guest and also delivered the Convocation address. The Hon’ble Governor of Andhra Pradesh Sri S Abdul Nazeer was the Guest of Honour. Additionally, the event was graced by Smt. K V Usha Sricharan, the Minister for Women, Children, Differently Abled, and Senior Citizens Welfare from the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
On their arrival at the venue, the women’s brass band of the Anantapur campus accorded a ceremonial welcome to the Chief Guest, the Guest of Honor, and the Minister, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, where they were received and greeted by the Chancellor Sri K Chakravarthi IAS (Retd.), and the Vice-Chancellor Prof. B Raghavendra Prasad and Sri R J Rathnakar, Managing Trustee, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust.
The Chief Guest along with the Guest of Honour, the Minister, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Controller of Examinations, Members of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning Public Charitable Trust (PCT), the Board of Management, and Deans advanced towards the dais in a ceremonial procession with the Registrar of the Institute carrying the ceremonial mace.
The event commenced with the National Anthem upon the arrival of the Chief Guest, Guest of Honour, the Minister, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, the Chancellor, and the Vice-Chancellor onto the stage, which was followed by the invocatory Veda chanting from the Taittriya Upanishad.
The Convocation was then declared ‘open’ in the Divine voice of the Revered Founder Chancellor Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba at the request of the Vice-Chancellor.
In his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor Prof. B Raghavendra Prasad took great delight in welcoming the Hon’ble President of India, the Hon’ble Governor of Andhra Pradesh, and the Minister for Women, Children, Differently Abled, and Senior Citizens Welfare, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, to the 42nd Convocation of the Institute.
Sharing a summary of the activities by the various departments and by the Institute during the previous academic year and to date, he highlighted the implementation of the new four-year programmes in alignment with the NEP 2020, the institute’s focus on emerging technologies such as Deep Learning, Cyber Security, and Quantum Computing, strides made on the Industry-academia connect, the establishment of the Centres for Excellence in Actuarial Data Sciences, and another in Mathematical Biology reflecting the institute’s commitment to academic excellence in interdisciplinary domains.
Highlighting the recent ‘Gold Level’ conferred by the CAS University Recognition Program for the Actuarial Science Programmes offered by the institute, he said, SSSIHL is the only Institute in Asia to have received this honor thus far.
The Vice-Chancellor then highlighted an important MOU signed with the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Govt. of India, Mysuru, that he said will promote collaborative research to address congenital problems in children with Speech and Hearing impairment, leading to learning disabilities. This involves Genomics, Big Data Analytics, Bio-Medical Image Analysis, and Therapeutic use of Music and Veda, signifying a great blend of Vidya, Vaidya, and Veda. He then gave a glimpse of the high-quality research carried out for societal benefit by leveraging the world-class Central Research Instruments Facility (CRIF) and the Central Research Laboratory (CRL) at SSSIHL. In addition to academic achievements, he highlighted the active participation of the institute in national campaigns like the Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav and India’s G20 Presidency in 2023.
This was followed by the felicitation of the Chief Guest, the Guest of Honor, and the Minister, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh. The grand ceremony then saw the Hon’ble Chancellor, Shri K Chakravarthi, IAS (Retd.), admit 503 candidates to their degrees followed by the convocation pledge administered by the Vice-Chancellor.
President Droupadi Murmu then conferred the 21 Gold Medals on the qualifying students who achieved distinction in various disciplines.
The Hon’ble Governor of Andhra Pradesh Sri S Abdul Nazeer in his address said “The Institute is a beacon of light for value-based Integral education in this country”. Congratulating the students, he said he believed the values imbibed here are making a positive impact on society and that the students have a greater responsibility to live the message of true education as they step out into the world. He said ‘the culture of Bharat is based on the eternal truth which is unaffected by time and place, unshaken by circumstances, unchanged by historical changes, and untouched by natural calamities”. The Governor exhorted students to imbibe qualities of courage and valor and emulate those who have striven for Indian Culture and must resolve to adhere to and uphold Dharma and work for the welfare of the country.
In her convocation address, President Droupadi Murmu paid her respects to the founder chancellor Bhagawan Baba on the occasion of His 98th Birthday on 23rd Nov 2023 and said that she was indeed fortunate to have come today to the abode of greatest peace.
Highlighting the motto of the Institute, ‘Sathyam Vad, Dharma Char’ (Speak the Truth and Walk on the Path of Righteousness), the President spoke on the importance of Truth and Righteousness in Indian Culture and practicing and upholding them in our daily lives.
Sharing her personal experience of teaching at the Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Center in Rairangpur, in Odisha, the President said that “teaching life values and morality is the real education. Just as a strong foundation is necessary for the construction of a building, similarly the foundation of morality and life values is also essential for the construction of life. The main goal of Integral Education is to try to transmit the life values of truth, good conduct, peace, affection, and non-violence in the life of every student”.
Quoting the scriptures, she said knowledge is that which provides liberation and instills humility in students, and the Institute in the true sense is a Modern Gurukula imparting human and spiritual values to students along with regular education. “I am very impressed by your institution’s overall vision towards education. Instead of education, you have used a completely new concept like Edu-care. It is very useful and meaningful to call Integral Education based on human values as Edu-care”, she said.
The President then spoke on the role of women in Indian society and spiritual tradition and the need for more opportunities for Girl students. Speaking of the high ideals and values the Institute was founded on, the President said ‘This idealistic thinking of your institute cannot be praised enough”
Congratulating the graduates, the president was confident that the students would spread eternal life values in accordance with the ideals taught at the institution.
The event concluded with the National Anthem and Mangala Aarati.
Later this evening, as part of the 42nd Convocation, a Drama entitled “Divya Prema” will also be streamed live from the Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam, on the Prasanthi Mandir Live YouTube Channel.
View the recording of the 42nd Annual Convocation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWhhNv1ziXs