President lauds Karnataka people for giving back to society

Lauding Karnataka for its rich legacy of culture and knowledge, President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said the people of the southern state are public-spirited citizens and known for giving back to society.

"The attributes of serving the cause of education and giving back to society are typical of the people of this state," Kovind said at the centenary celebrations of the National Education Society in the city.

Noting that the Society's National High School had gifted distinguished citizens to the country, the President said its alumni included ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar, former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachalaiah, eminent cricketer Anil Kumble and former state Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, among others.

"The century-old Society, set up by freedom fighter Annie Besant, runs several educational institutions, including the National High School," said Kovind in his address to the students and faculty on the occasion.

Eminent scientist Bharat Ratna C.N.R. Rao and Kannada actor Ramesh Aravind are among the alumni of the illustrious school.

Mahatma Gandhi had visited the school in 1936 and praised its student H. Narasimhaiah for translating his Hindi speeches into Kannada for the local audience.

The President also praised the Adamya Chetana Foundation for providing mid-day meals to about 100,000 children daily across the state through its Annapurna project.

"Mid-day meal promotes education because less well-off make an effort to send their children to school. It's the most nutritious and wholesome meal a child from a poor family gets," said Kovind.

He also unveiled the Adamya Chetana Seva Utsav 2018 on the occasion.

The President later visited the new campus of Amruta Institute of Engineering and Management Sciences (AIEMS) in Bidadi in Ramanagara district, about 40km southwest of Bengaluru.

The AIEMS is an institute of the Basaveshwara Veerashyva Vidyavardaka (B.V.V.) Sangha Bagalkot, which is celebrating its 111th year.

Speaking to the student gathering, Kovind advised them to seek a wider and enlightened understanding of the value of education.

"Education is not simply about reading textbooks, but the true measure of education is in how a student can give back to the society," Kovind reiterated.

Calling present times an "era of entrepreneurship", the President said the students must not just be job-seekers but also job creators.

"Students and graduates must take forward our country's and Karnataka's innovation and start-up culture," he said.

Earlier in the day, the President also took part in the 22nd convocation of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in the city.

-IANS