Q. Why did you choose to build an educational institution dedicated to Swami Vivekananda and his teachings?
I am closely associated with the Ramakrishna mission where I learned a lot from the interactions with the monks who are very enlightened souls and very intuitive people. One day, sitting under a silver oak tree at Mayawati Ashram, also known as Advaita Ashram, Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand, visionary monk Swami Jitatmananda ji said, “All world speaks of Swami Vivekananda and his works and he is quoted very extensively, but we have not been able to create any institution, memoriam or monument to the memory of Swami Vivekananda. idea was ignited to start an educational institution. The proceeds from the sale of my ancestral home provided the seed capital to undertake this mission. The vision was to prepare for the scenario of education in 50 years There is a saying that a tree owes its existence to the sapling, which is why the humble sapling of Vivekananda Vocational Study Institutions was planted in 2000 in the nation’s capital.
Q. What is the strong foundation of VIPS?
We believe bricks and mortar don’t make a great institution, rather people make it great. We seek out and select the best of the best candidates as faculty members so that no parent will regret bringing their ward to this institution. We have very highly qualified, highly enriched, research-oriented and scholarly faculty who are aligned with our mission and vision, and together we are moving forward to steadily grow in strength. The compliments received from parents and students as they qualify for higher education or grow in their careers – this is the most rewarding and satisfying time for us. Thus, all credit goes to our highly responsible, motivated and knowledgeable faculty members who try to uphold the high standards we have set, as this is not just an educational institution, but a a center of excellence. We compete with the best institutions in the country, and creating such an institution in the private sector takes a lot of effort. This makes VIPS one of the best institutions that people envy. I think that’s the reward for our dedication.
Q. What makes VIPS different from other institutions?
What is missing from the Indian education system is that it has forgotten our intrinsic value system, the fundamental eternal values of being honest, of being fair, of being fair, of being truthful. This is where VIPS differs from others because we practice what Swami Vivekananda taught all his life. We expect three things from students – good conduct, sense of duty and sense of responsibility and in return we give them man-making, character-building, nation-building. These three tasks, we have collectively assumed them and it reverberates from senior management to the last person on campus.
Q. How do you protect students from the threat of digital addiction?
We have created an “inner space” where students can go and sit in silence and turn inward, contemplate and meditate, and this is combined with intuitive yoga that ignites the initial spark, that first thirst for knowledge. So here we are different, nurturing each student with values and the ability to study with more focus, rather than just dumping information on them. We create men of wisdom, responsible citizens and build them as national assets. At VIPS there is a wise mix of value system and formal education and our students are equipped to compete anywhere in the world because they are grounded.
Q. What is the contribution of VIPS to nation building apart from imparting education?
It is an institution with a difference where ancient wisdom blends with modern education. Those who passed out from here – they became registrants in the Supreme Court, they are judges on the bench and high-ranking officers in the military to name a few. We have created very satisfied, and perhaps more innovative and creative individuals.
In its 20 years of existence, VIPS has created productive and responsible citizens, and I believe this is the greatest contribution to the nation.
Q. What is your vision for the expansion of VIPS and the challenges that come with it?
There are many regulatory bodies involved in establishing an institution and we must adhere to the guidelines which a joint assessment committee reviews each year. We also incur huge expenses under different headings payable to the University. We look forward to winning the legal battle between the NCT government and the IP University to which we are affiliated. Once the UGC recognizes VIPS as an autonomous body, it will free us from all hassle. According to the new education policy, we can build a university on 5 acres of land, so that we can build in the future and expand to other areas as well.
Q. What do you think of the new education policy?
The NEP is opening up and it can allow us to establish good links with universities within the framework of exchange programs and VIPS has already signed memorandums of understanding with national law faculties. But then the NEP gives you more opportunities to sign MOUs with world-renowned universities. Often, young students do not know which subjects to take, and for them, the NEP offers a wide range of interdisciplinary courses to choose from, complete with credit scores. On our part, we have adhered to our commitment to maintain high standards of education at VIPS. We have raised funds, borrowed from banks, but we have never compromised when it comes to providing quality education. This is essential for our inner satisfaction.
Q. What is the scourge of the Indian education system, in your opinion?
Unscrupulous institutions are mushrooming across the country and continue to multiply by bribing the authorities, mostly as creations of the state legislature. These fake education marketers do more harm than service to the student community by levying high fees and granting phantom degrees, which are not recognized at the proper universities. It is one of the biggest threats facing India. In fact, they dilute the quality of education and serve no social cause. Instead, these institutions gamble with the future of gullible students and their parents with false promises, so they must be shut down.
Despite all these challenges, I see a very bright future for India. The UGC, statutory bodies like AICTE and many others take precautions and guarantees to ensure quality education.
Q. As a public figure and legislator, how do you view patriotism through initiatives such as Har Ghar Tiranga celebrating 75 years of Indian independence?
Patriotism is something very spontaneous. As a war has raged, every common man on the streets has come forward to express their solidarity with defense personnel and the nation. After independence, nationalism and patriotism existed as early as the 1962 war with China and the wars that followed. Patriotism is not to be invoked or proclaimed, because one is a patriot by birth as one is born in India. You must be loyal to the nation and prove yourself worthy of your homeland. The need is to focus on human creation, nation building and inculcating responsible citizenship to keep the neighborhood and environment clean and keep the water source clean. Instead, they are polluted with impunity, which this country has failed miserably to curb. Blind faith and superstition have also led the country into darkness. But our culture is really very rich and still speaks today of the unity of humanity, universal peace and the sharing of knowledge.