As part of the Swami Vivekananda’s 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations inaugurated by the Prime Minister on 12th January 2011, a Seminar on Education was organized by the Ramakrishna Mission, New Delhi on 12th and 13th February 2011 at the Sarada Auditorium. Shri Kapil Sibal, Hon’ble Minister of Human Resource Development and Telecommunications, Government of India, was invited to inaugurate the same. Some distinguished luminaries in the field of Education in India and abroad were invited to speak in the Seminar as per the copy of the programme enclosed.
The first day of Inauguration of the Seminar on 12th February, the programme was divided into three sessions –
- Inaugural Session
- Session on ‘Education for Enablement’, and
- Session on ‘Challenges and Opportunities in the present Education System.
On the second day, i.e., on 13th February, there were only two Sessions:
- Session on ‘Education for Knowledge’ and
- Session on ‘Education for spirituality’.
The first day’s Inaugural session started at 10.30 a.m. on 12th February with the arrival of the Hon’ble Minister Shri Kapil Sibal He lighted a lamp symbolizing the inauguration of the Seminar. Then Swami Shantatmanandaji, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, New Delhi, presented to the Hon’ble Minister some books and a memento. Shri Kapil Sibal delivered his Inaugural Address. Swami Atmapriyanandaji, Vice-Chancellor of the Vivekananda University at Belur Math delivered an address for about 45 minutes.
A Video Address was scheduled to be delivered from California (USA) by Shri Sam Pitroda, Chairman, National Innovation Council and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Public Information, Infrastructure and Innovations. This was postponed to 13th February at 9.30 a.m.
After Tea Break, Session-2 (Education for Enablement) Pravrajika Brahmapranaji gave a Keynote Address on the subject, followed by a Workshop ably conducted by Shri V. Srinivas, Founder and Lead Researcher of Illumine Knowledge Resources, Mumbai. Shri Srinivas conducted a Workshop and invited questions from the audience and answered the same. Before the start of their respective presentations, Swami Shantatmanandaji presented mementos to the resource persons.
After this workshop, there was Lunch Break for 45 minutes. Lunch was served to all in the lawn, duly covered, in the Mission premises. The Lunch consisted of rice, puris, dal, two sabjis, chutney and a sweet (sandesh). About 150 people took the Lunch.
The afternoon session of the Seminar (Session 3) began at 2.30 p.m. It was a panel discussion on “Challenges and Opportunities in the present Education System’. The Panelists were
- Swami Atmapriyanandaji
- Prof. Dinesh Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Universiyty of Delhi
- Dr. M.S. Ananth, Director, IIT, Madras and
- Prof. Surabhi Banerjee, Vice-chancellor, Central University of Orissa, Koraput, who acted as the Moderator during the discussion.
Swami Shantatmanandaji presented a Memento to all the panelists. A very lively discussion took place on the said subject and it ended at 4.00 p.m. After that, Tea and biscuits were served to all.
The next day, i.e., on 13th, there was a Video Address by Shri Sam Pitroda at 9.30 a.m. which could not take place on 12th February as scheduled earlier. At the end of Shri Sam Pitroda’s Video Address, Swami Shantatmanandaji thanked him very much for the Address.
Session-4 (Education for Knowledge) started with the Keynote Address by Swami Vidyanathanandaji (Mahan Maharaj) of the Ramakrishna Vivekananda University at Belur Math, for about 45 minutes. This was followed by ‘Workshop on Education for Knowledge’ by Dr. Ram Murty, Professor, Queen’s University, Canada.
After Lunch, Session-5 (Education for Knowledge) started with the Keynote Address by Swami Atmapriyanandaji, followed by a Workshop on the same subject by Swami Sarvapriyanandaji.
Swami Shantatmanandaji made concluding remarks and proposed a Vote of Thanks.