Tenacity, prowess of women students game changer for India: Kovind

Panaji, Jul 7 (IANS): President Ram Nath Kovind said on Saturday that the tenacity of Indian women students and their growing academic prowess would prove to be a "game changer" for India, while also calling Goa's promotion of girl's education a model for other states.

Kovind, who was in Goa to preside over the 30th annual convocation of Goa University, also urged the institution to take the lead in promotion of Lusophone and marine studies.

"At Goa University there are two areas of knowledge where you can guide the nation and must build on the foundations you have already laid. My first reference is to the department of Portuguese and Lusophonic studies. I am told this department is the only such in the sub continent," he said.

"It offers us an opportunity to gain insight into and build networks with Lusophonic countries that extends from Africa to South America and of course it offers us an opportunity to strengthen relations with Portugal and the European Union which are very valuable partners," he added.

The President also lauded the Goa University for maintaining a liberal and cosmopolitan ethos, calling it a "major strength".

Sixty per cent of students at the Goa University are women, he said, adding that women also account for 63 per cent of the toppers and medallists at Saturday's convocation ceremony.

"I am told that, of the 67 gold medals being awarded today, 41 have been won by girl students. This is an outstanding achievement for not just your university and for Goa, but for the entire country. I would request the young women as well as the young men graduating today, to bear in mind that access to higher education is still a privilege in India," Kovind said.

He also said that the potential for marine sciences in India are limitless, urging the University to lead India in marine research.

"Nevertheless, we have been slow in realizing the wealth of the ocean and in developing our blue economy. From marine bio-diversity and its use for energy sources and minerals in the sea, there is so much we can work on. India can be a leader in this field and I see Goa University as a fulcrum of our blue economy knowledge enterprise," he said.