Statement by The Right Honourable Mr K. P. Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of Nepal at Govind Ballabh Panth University of Agriculture and Technology
08 April 2018
Professor A.K. Mishra, Vice Chancellor of the University
Members of Faculties
Dear Students and Scholars
Friends of Nepal
Ladies and Gentlemen
I would like to begin by thanking the University for conferring this honorary doctorate on me today. I accept your kind award, with profound gratitude.
I express my sincere thanks to you, Professor A.K. Mishra, for extending the generous invitation to me to join all of you at this University; the first Agriculture University of India; the university which heralded a revolution in agricultural education, research and innovation; a center of excellence which has led renaissance in agriculture education in India.
I feel profoundly impressed to be here at the university which has contributed to transforming the agricultural landscape of India. I am equally inspired to stand at this podium and address a rich cross-section of erudite scholars, agricultural scientists, professors, students (as well as dexterous peasants).
Ladies and Gentlemen
Education which inculcates not only information but also cultivates wisdom and spurs innovation.
Education which can rekindle the spirit, inform the intellect, and shape the mind.
The mind of a human being has infinite potential, of which only a fraction is used.
The mind is a citadel where the faculties of infinite imagination, innovation and invention are cultivated. And, it is education that unleashes the potential of brain.
To extend the envelops and open new vistas of brilliance, education is the key.
Equally rich is the nature’s potential. The potential to nurture as well as nourish. The potential to propel the raft of prosperity. And, it is an educated mind that unleashes the very potential of nature.
To harness the resourcefulness of nature, education is the key.
Each individual has distinct interest and capacity; has unique aptitude and ability. The onus lies in the State to confer an individual with the suitable opportunity to build on those skills.
It is the responsibility of the government to assess the human resource requirements of the nation and harness the talents that its people have.
It is the responsibility of an individual as well to put the service of his knowledge for the benefit of broader society, and the nation.
True, education makes an individual a better person. However, its utility doesn’t end there. Education should also contribute to the solemn goal of nation-building as well.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends
The heritage of wisdom and knowledge that our countries carry is enormous. Our progenitors were pioneers in education, in innovation. They were the key figures in art, literature, and culture.
Their diligence and dedication conceived an unshakable foundation of our civilization – one infused with innovation, with creative ingenuity, with inspiring inventions. It is our region which cultivated the learned rishis and munis, saints and sages, great philosophers, and truth-seekers.
Our ancestors gave the world the profound wisdom of Vedas and Upanishads, yoga and Ayurveda, grammar, and linguistics. They gifted the world with mathematics and algebra. They taught the eternal teachings of ahimsa to the humanity.
They imagined. They envisioned. And, they innovated. Their wisdom has survived the test of time. Our region conceived many geniuses who inspired the human civilization and guided the evolution of humanity from darkness to light.
In the annals of the evolution of knowledge and innovation, the name of our fore-bearers stands out bright and illustrious.
The duty falls upon us to carry that torch ahead.
The responsibility lies with us to keep the heritage of that knowledge alive and march ahead. To explore and advance the genetic memory that we have inherited from our ancestors.
In our times, the world has seen a tectonic shift in technological change and innovation. Astounding strides have been made in the industrial development. The incidence of poverty has decreased significantly. The indicators of human development are getting better. The death from communicable disease and epidemics have decreased. School enrollment has gone up. The opportunities in front of us are manifold.
However, challenges abound.
The world we live in today is a better place, but this should not lull us into any complacency. There is much to be done to make the world realize its potential, to harness the potential of human ingenuity.
There are many maladies to cure; hurdles to cross; and deeds to be done.
The responsibility lies with us, to ensure that the fruit of development is shared by all, and roots of development are sustainable and inclusive.
The responsibility lies with us, to break the development bottlenecks by investing in infrastructure.
While we focus our priority to address these issues, we should redouble our efforts to invest in technical education. Our educational institutes have the onus to serve as a hub to produce more innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs.
A major source of employment in Nepal, agriculture remains a key pillar of our economy. As elsewhere in our region, it plays a fundamental role in ensuring food and nutrition security in Nepal. Almost 65% of our population depends on agriculture and its contribution to the GDP is 33%. Promoting sustainable and high yielding agriculture remains a top priority of national development agenda.
The government is determined to transform the agriculture in Nepal by utilizing the technical progress, while also making the best use of traditional knowledge and genetic resources.
In the quest of transforming the agriculture in Nepal through enhancing agricultural production and productivity, science-based agricultural growth driven by vibrant, efficient and effective national agricultural research, education and extension system is essential.
Educational institutions, like this university, can best serve this purpose by capitalizing in technological progress while preserving the genetic memory.
And also, a close collaboration between Nepal and India can facilitate the agricultural development by the expansion of the market. We can work in the areas of improved seed, irrigation, soil improvement, mechanization, and crop diversification.
Ladies and Gentlemen
I visited India in 2015 as the first Prime Minister elected after the promulgation of the Constitution, the constitution adopted by a democratically elected body which institutionalized our political transformation.
And this time, I am on a visit as the first Prime Minister elected after the conclusion of constitutionally mandated elections of all the three levels – federal, provincial and local. With the participation of all sections of societies, these elections have heralded a new era of stability, and a new era of added responsibility.
A responsibility to prioritize economic transformation.
A responsibility to unleash the potential of human mind as well as resourcefulness of nature.
Now, our focus is to accelerate development and prosperity, where no-one is left behind. And I say this with a confidence that, a developed and prosperous Nepal is in the interest of her neighbours as well.
Before concluding, I would like to stress on the need to promote enhanced collaboration and cooperation between the Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology and universities in Nepal for undertaking studies and research on issues that are common to us.
I would share with you that Prime Minister Modiji and I jointly launched Nepal-India New Partnership in Agriculture. Hope this will result in an enhanced level of cooperation between our two friendly countries.
With this note, I would like to thank you, Prof. A.K. Mishra, and the university, once again, for conferring this honorary doctorate on me.
I thank you all for your kind attention!