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Modern education utilitarian, ill-equipped to build character: CJI Ramana – The Indian Express

Modern education system focuses only on the utilitarian aspect of education and is not equipped to deal with its moral or spiritual function which builds character, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said Monday. He was delivering the 40th convocation address of the Andhra Pradesh-based Sri Sathya Sai Institute for Higher Learning.
“Unfortunately, the modern education system tends to focus only on the ‘utilitarian’ function of education. Such a system is not equipped to deal with the ‘moral’ or ‘spiritual’ function of education which builds the character of our students and allows them to develop a social consciousness and a sense of responsibility,” he said.
CJI Ramana added that “true education is one which imbibes moral values and virtues of humility, discipline, selflessness, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness and mutual respect. Education must elevate your character and broaden your thinking. It must enable you to take the right decision when faced with the complexities of life”.
He said education “is often understood to mean academic learning. But being ‘truly educated’ means much more. True education should result in a far more holistic positive change and advancement in the life of a student.”
Lauding the university, he said education there has inculcated both ethical and moral values in students. Its founder Sathya Sai Baba, the CJI said, “promoted a combination of ‘worldly learning’ and ‘spiritual learning’. This philosophy radiates in this institution. It flows from our rich mythology and vedic philosophy.”
Hailing it as a one-of-a-kind university built around the concept of a modern gurukula, the CJI said that “the institution is modern in the sense that the information and knowledge being imparted by the teachers to the students… is most contemporary and cutting-edge in the respective fields,” while “at the same time, it is also a ‘gurukula’ where the essence of Indian culture, values and lifestyle is inculcated in the students…”.
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“This ensures all-round development and mental fortitude,” he pointed out.
Underlining that the concept of service was central to the teachings of the Sai Baba, he said “this ethos of service becomes even more relevant during emergencies.”
“Consider what has happened all over the world over the past two years. The world has gone through unprecedented changes. The pandemic has exposed and highlighted deep-rooted vulnerabilities and has increased the inequalities in society. In such times, selfless service is the need of the hour,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)
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