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PM’s address on 8th Convocation Ceremony of Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University

Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Vijay Rupani ji,  Chairman of Board of Directors of Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University Shri Mukesh Ambani ji, Chairman of Standing Committee Shri D. Rajagopalan ji, Director General Professor S. Sundar Manoharan ji, faculty members, parents and all my young friends!

Many many congratulations to all of you on the occasion of the eighth convocation of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Petroleum University. Many many best wishes to the friends who are graduating today and their parents. Today, the country is getting industry-ready graduates like you. Congratulations to you for your efforts and what you have learnt from this university and best wishes for the big goal of nation building for which you are leaving here for a new journey.

I am confident that you will emerge as a great force of self-reliant India with your skill, talent and professionalism. Today, inauguration and foundation laying ceremony of five different projects related to PDPU have also taken place. These facilities will make PDPU an important centre of professional education, skill development and Start-Up ecosystem besides the energy sector of the country.

Friends,

I have been associated with projects of this university since early days and, therefore, I am glad to see the PDPU is creating its own identity, not just in the country but also in the world.  I have come here today not as a chief guest, but as a member of the family of your great resolution.

And I am very proud to see that this university is far ahead of its time. There was a time when people would question how far this kind of university will go, but the students, faculty members, the professionals who passed out from here have answered all these questions through their commitment.

In the last one-and-a-half decades, the PDPU has expanded in many spheres, including the energy spectrum, besides the petroleum sector. When I was thinking about the project at that time, I had Petroleum University in mind since Gujarat wanted to move forward in the petroleum sector.  Given the progress of PDPU today, I would request the Gujarat government to rename it from Petroleum University to Energy University by amending laws, if necessary, in keeping with the requirements of the country and the world, because there is going to be a huge expansion of its scope. And what you have earned in such a short time, what you have given to the country, perhaps the country will be a great beneficiary by expanding it to Energy University. The imagination of Petroleum University was mine and now I want to enlarge my imagination and request you to connect it with the entire energy sector instead of petroleum. You think over it and see what can be done if you like my suggestion.

The setting up of the 45 megawatt solar panel manufacturing plant or the Centre of Excellence on Water Technology reflects the larger vision of PDPU towards the country.

Friends,

You are entering the industry at a time when major changes are taking place in the energy sector across the world due to pandemic. Therefore, there is immense potential in the growth, enterprise spirit and employment in the energy sector in India. In a way, you have arrived at the right time in the right sector. Billions of rupees are going to be invested in the oil and gas sector in this decade only. Therefore, there are countless opportunities for you from research to manufacturing.

Friends,

Today the country is moving forward with the goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 30-35%. The world was surprised whether India could do it when I made this proposal initially. We are endeavouring to increase the share of natural gas in our energy needs by four times in this decade. Work is on to almost double the oil refining capacity in the next five years. There are several opportunities for you also. Plans are afoot to strengthen the energy security related Start-Up ecosystem. A special fund is also being created for students and professionals like you.  If you have any idea, a product or a concept which you want to incubate, this fund is a very good opportunity and it is also a gift from the government.

When I am talking to you, I am aware that you may be having some worries. You must be wondering when this Corona will end and when things will normalize. These are natural concerns.   It is not an easy thing to graduate at a time when the world is facing such a big crisis. But remember, your strength and your abilities are much bigger than these challenges. Never lose this confidence.

The more important thing than the problems is what is your purpose, what are your preferences and what is your plan? Therefore, it is necessary that you should have a purpose, your preferences should be decided and for that there has to be a perfect plan. It is not that you are facing any problem for the first time in your life. It is also not that this will be your last challenge. It is not that the successful people don’t encounter problems, but only that person emerges successful in life that accepts challenges, confronts them, defeats them and finds solutions to the challenges. Look at any successful person. He has made progress only after confronting challenges.

Friends,

If you think about the period a hundred years ago, and I want the youngsters of my country today to think about that period a hundred years ago. Today, we are in 2020. Imagine about a person who was of your age in 1920, what were his dreams?  What was the passion and mindset of the person who was of your age in 1920? Reflect the 100-year-old history. The period beginning 1920 was very important for the freedom of the country.

There was not a year during the period of slavery that the war of freedom was not fought. The freedom struggle of 1857 became a turning point. But the period between 1920 and 1947 was very different.  During that period there have been so many incidents when everybody from the nook and corner of the country, from every field, from every category, the children of the entire country, and person from every section, from villages, towns, educated, the rich and the poor became soldiers of the freedom struggle.  The people had become united. They had sacrificed their own dreams and took the resolve of independence. And we have seen that the young generation from 1920 to 1947 had put everything at stake. Today, many a time, we feel jealous about that young generation. Alas, we could also be born during the period of 1920-1947. I could have become Bhagat Singh for the country. But friends, we did not get the opportunity to die for the country. Today, we have got the opportunity to live for the country.

During that time, the youths were working on only one mission by sacrificing everything for the country. What was the mission? The mission was the independence of India, to free Mother Bharati from the shackles of slavery.  There were many elements, people of different ideologies, but everybody was moving in one direction and that direction was the freedom of Mother Bharati. Be it the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Babu, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Veer Savarkar; everybody with different ideology and with different ways had only one objective – the freedom of Mother Bharati.

Only one voice used to be heard from Kashmir to Kalapani, from a prison cell to the gallows, walls would echo only one thing, the ropes of the gallows used to be decorated with only one slogan and that slogan and resolution used to be the independence of Mother Bharati.

My young friends,

We are not in that period, but even today, the opportunity to serve the motherland is the same. If the youngsters sacrificed their youth for independence then, we can learn to live for a self-reliant India and we can show this as well.  Today, we have to become a movement for self-reliant India, a soldier for a movement and to lead a movement.  This is my expectation from every Indian, and the young friends in particular, that we have to thrust ourselves for self-reliant India.

The present-day India is undergoing a major phase of change. You have a huge responsibility to build not only the present but India of the future.  Imagine, you are in such a golden period.  India will be completing 75 years of its independence in 2022 and 100 years of its independence in 2047. You would not have imagined that these 25 years are the important years of your life. The 25 important years of the country and the 25 important years of your life are in tune. Hardly, anybody would be as lucky as you are.

You see, only those people succeed in their life who have the sense of responsibility. The sense of responsibility is the biggest move to success. And if you observe minutely, you will find only those people, your friends fail who have weighed down with the sense of burden rather than a sense of responsibility.

See friends, the sense of responsibility leads to a sense of opportunity in a person’s life. He never sees obstacles along the way, but only opportunities. A person’s sense of responsibility should be tuned to his purpose of life; there should not be any contradiction. There should not be any struggle between the two.  Sense of responsibility and purpose of life are two tracks on which your resolutions can progress very fast.

This is my request to you that keep alive the sense of responsibility always within you. This sense of responsibility should be for the country, to meet the needs of the country. Today, the country is moving ahead in many sectors.

Friends,

The power of resolution is immense with the heap of desires. There is so much to do for the country, so much to gain, but your resolution and your goal should not be fragmented and scattered in pieces. You will also feel a huge reservoir of energy in yourself if you move ahead with commitment. The pool of energy within you will give you new ideas and will take you to new heights. One more thing you have to bear in mind is that wherever we are; whatever position we have reached is because we secured good marks, or because our parents had enough money, or we had talent. Agree, all these things may have their share, but if this is the mindset, then it is incomplete. Wherever we are and whosoever we are, the contribution of others is more than us, there is contribution of the society, the country, the poorest of the poor. It is only because of these contributions that we have reached where we are today. Sometimes we don’t even realize it.

This university where you have studied is the result of the sweat of many labour brothers and sisters and the taxes paid by many middle-class families. There are many people who you may not even remember but who would have contributed for your growth. We should always keep this in mind that we are indebted to those people. It is the society and the country which has made us reach where we are. Therefore, we will also have to take a resolve to repay the debt of the country and the society.

Friends,

Momentum and progress are essential for human life. Simultaneously, it is equally important to protect nature and the environment for the future generation. As clean energy is hope for a better future, there are two things which are very important in life – one clean slate and second clean heart. We often hear and perhaps you may also be saying that it is like this, nothing will change, what is ours, let’s adjust and so on. Many a times, people say that things will go on as usual in the country because it has been happening like this, this is our tradition.

Friends,

All these are gibbering of the losers whose mind has been rusted. Some people’s minds are stuck with these things that they do everything with this approach. But this generation, the youth of the 21st century will have to move ahead with a clean slate. They will have to cleanse the stereotypes that nothing will change. Similarly, a clean heart means clear intentions. I don’t need to explain.

Friends,

You yourself close the door for something new if you move ahead with pre-conceived notions.

Friends,

It was twenty years ago, when I became the chief minister of Gujarat for the first time. There were many challenges; work was going on at several levels. I was new as a chief minister. Earlier, I used to live in Delhi. I had to come to Gujarat all of a sudden. I had no place to live, so I booked a room in Circuit House in Gandhi Nagar. I was yet to be sworn-in. But it was decided that I am going to be the chief minister. It was natural to find people with bouquets. When people would visit me then, they would often tell me now that you are going to be chief minister you have to do one work. Almost 70-80% of people would say the same thing. You will be surprised to know that they would tell me to ensure electricity at least during dinner.  You can very well imagine what was the situation of electricity then?

Now, the kind of family I come from, I also knew very well how important it is to have electricity. Then I thought what was its permanent solution? I was talking to officers, discussing with them, but it was the same mindset that it will continue like this. We can do only this much with the amount of electricity that we have. The usual reactions would be when there would be more electricity generation then we will see. I asked them if there is any solution in the given situation? Then by the grace of God, one thought came to my mind. I asked them if they could do one thing. Could we separate the agriculture and domestic feeders?  People had these pre-conceived notions that there is electricity theft by the farmers and so on. It would be difficult for me to explain as I was new whether these Babus would understand me or not.

The officers did not agree with me, because they had pre-conceived notions that it can’t happen like this. Somebody said this is not possible, somebody said the financial condition is not as such, others said there is no electricity. You will be surprised that the files which moved around for this purpose must have weighed 5-7-10 kilograms. And every time, there used to be negative options.

Then I realized that I will have to do something. Then I started work on a second option. I called a society from northern Gujarat with which 45 villages were associated for a meeting. I told them that I have a dream and whether they could realize it. They asked for time to think about it. I told them to take the help of engineers.  I only want to separate the domestic and agriculture feeders of electricity which reaches villages. They came back to me again and said they don’t want any help other than an approval of 10 crore rupees from the Gujarat government. I told them that it was my responsibility and we gave them permission.

They started the work. I also requested the engineers to do the work. And the domestic and agriculture feeder was separated in those 45 villages. As a result, there was a separate time for electricity for agriculture and electricity was available 24 hours in the households. And then, I sent some youths from educational universities to assess it.  You will be surprised that Gujarat, which had difficulty in ensuring electricity during dinner, was getting 24-hour electricity and a new economy emerged. The tailor who would operate his sewing machines manually also started using electric machines. The washer man also started using electric irons. The kitchen also saw several electrical gadgets. People started buying ACs, fans, TVs. In a way, the whole life started changing. The government revenues also increased.

This experiment changed the mindset of the officers. Ultimately, it was decided that it was the right approach. Then we formulated a 1000-day plan for the entire Gujarat when agriculture and domestic feeder will be separated. And within 1000 days, 24-hour electricity was ensured in all the households of Gujarat. Had I stuck with those pre-conceived notions, it could not have been made possible. I began with a clean slate. I used to think with a new approach and it was the result of it.

Friends,

Keep one thing in mind that restrictions don’t matter, your response matters. I give you another example. Gujarat was the first state which prepared solar policy at its own level. It was then brought to our notice that it will cost 12-13 rupees per unit of solar power. The cost was too much at that time because thermal power was available at 2-3 rupees per unit. As the hue and cry and finding fault is the fashion today, I also had to face these problems. It was brought to my notice that it will create a huge storm. On one side, when the electricity is available for Rs. 2-3 per unit, and there is talk of another source of electricity which would cost 12-13 rupees.

But friends, there was a moment that I had to worry about my prestige and the concerns of the future generation. I knew that such decisions would invite censure in the media. There would be charges of corruption and several other things. But my heart was clean. I genuinely felt that we would have to do something different to change our lifestyle.

At last, we took the decision to go for solar energy and we took this decision with honesty. We did it for a better future and a vision.

Solar plants were launched in Gujarat in a very big way. When Gujarat formulated the policy, the Indian government also copied the same policy. But what did they do? They fixed the price at Rs 18-19. Then our officers came to me and told me why would somebody accept a price of Rs. 12-13 when they are offering Rs. 18-19? I told them that I will stick with Rs. 12-13. I am not ready to pay Rs. 18-19. But we will give an eco-system, transparent and momentum for the development. The world will come to us and we will move ahead with a better model of governance. Now, you can see the progress made by Gujarat in solar power generation after it took the initiative. It is all before you. And today, the university has come forward to take it further.

What started at Rs. 12-13 became the solar movement across the country. And after coming here, I have formed the International Solar Alliance, which has 80-85 member countries.  They have become a part of the movement in the entire world. Since it was done with clean heart conviction, the result is that India is making giant strides as far as solar power is concerned.  Today, the price of per unit has gone down to less than Rs two from Rs. 12-13.

Solar power has become a major priority of the country. We have pledged for 175 gigawatt renewable energy by 2022 and I am confident that we will achieve the target before 2022. We have set a huge target of 450 gigawatt of renewable energy by 2030. I am confident that it will also be achieved before time.

There is no such thing as cannot happen. There is either – ‘I will make it happen’ or ‘I will not make it happen’. This belief will always be helpful to you.

Friends,

Change, whether it has to be made within or in the world, it does not happen in a day, a week or a year. We have to make concerted efforts for the change. Even small things, if done regularly, bring about massive changes. For example, you can develop a habit of reading something new or writing for 20 minutes in a day. Similarly, you can think why not dedicate 20 minutes every day to learn something new.

It may be just 20 minutes in a day, but the same 20 minutes will be equal to 120 hours in a year. You will also be surprised that this 120-hour effort will bring about so many changes within you.

Friends,

You must have seen this in cricket. When any team has to chase a very big target, it does not think how many runs it has to score. Batsmen think how many runs they have to score in every over.

The same mantra is followed by many people in financial planning. They deposit Rs. 5,000 every month and it becomes more than one lakh rupees after two years. These sustained efforts build such capabilities within you, the result of which may not be seen in the short-term, but it becomes a big security in the long run.

When a country moves ahead with similar sustained efforts at the national level, results are also similar. Take for example the Swachh Bharat mission. We don’t think about cleanliness only on Gandhi Jayanti or in October, but make concerted efforts every day. I have myself talked, discussed and requested the countrymen regarding cleanliness in almost all the editions of the Mann ki Baat programme between 2014 and 2019. In every programme, small discussions also take place on other issues as well. But with the small efforts of millions of people, Swachh Bharat became a mass movement. This is the effect of sustained efforts which lead to such outcomes.

Friends,

In the 21st century, the world’s hopes and expectations are from India and India’s hopes and expectations are associated with you. We have to move at a fast pace, we will have to move forward. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji had given the vision of ‘Antyodaya’. We have to strengthen further his ideals of Nation First. Each of our work should be for the nation. We have to move forward with the same spirit.

Many many congratulations to all of you once again and I extend my best wishes for your bright future.

Many many thanks !!