Nirmala Sitharaman urges students to 'focus on new areas opened up by government'

AHMEDABAD: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the opening up of areas that were till now completely reserved for the government offers immediate possibility for university graduates to become entrepreneurs.

The private sectorhas been given a lot of importance in the Union Budget for 2021-22, and areas that have been opened up are “rich in possibilities” for individuals and not necessarily just large companies, she said at the 29th annual convocation of Ahmedabad-based Nirma University.

“The areas which have been opened up are rich in possibilities. These are areas in which university graduates, students who are coming out of universities, have immediate possibility to get in and be an entrepreneur,” she said in her virtual address.

She said sectors such as space and atomic energy can “immediately benefit” from positive thoughts and fresh skill sets.

Sitharaman hailed Indian entrepreneurs and teachers for standing up to the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that several start-ups went on to become unicorns, and teachers quickly adapted to technology to reach out to their students from diverse backgrounds.

“Good and positive tendency which exists in our minds as Indians to find newer opportunities, to find opportunities even during challenging times, is what the spirit of the Indian entrepreneur is,” she said.

Teachers did brilliantly in the rapidly setting digital era, by teaching online via video conference without betraying exhaustion, and it was this spirit that has made ancient seers and Prime Minister Narendra Modi say that the country can be come a “vishwa guru”.

She said the new Education Policy has the focus on making students employable, adding that the Union government was negotiating with countries like the UAE and Japan so that Indian graduates get the skill sets required for job offers in the post-corona world.

Sitharaman said National Research Foundation, with an allocation of Rs 50,000 crore over five years, will strengthen the ecosystem for research in the country.

In the convocation ceremony, degrees were conferred to 52 PhDs, 798 postgraduates, and 1,530 graduate students of various departments of the university, while 51 students got 59 medals for exemplary performance.