GIS - 13 June, 2013: The University of Mauritius (UoM) conferred the Honorary Degree of Civil Law honoris causa, to the President of the Republic, Mr. Rajkeswur Purryag, GCSK, GOSK, this morning at the Octave Wiéhé Auditorium, Réduit. The Prime Minister, Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, and several other eminent personalities and the academia were present at the ceremony.
In his address the President expressed his deep appreciation and humility for having been conferred this distinction and he conveyed his sincere gratitude to the UoM and as well as professionals from the academia.
Mr. Rajkeswur Purryag gave an overview of his studies and career in the field of law and politics where he said that his contribution goes far beyond what he would have imagined when he started his legal studies back in 1967 as an Articled Clerk with an attorney. He further stated that he joined active politics in 1974, imbued with the commitment to serve the country and was motivated by the writings, works and actions of his political mentor, late Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (SSR), whom he said, was a staunch socialist and a product of the Fabian Society.
The President also underpinned the importance of education while referring to SSR who made universal education accessible to every cross-section of the population as he believed that it was through education that we would create the opportunity for our citizens to succeed in life.
On this score, he highlighted the pivotal role of the UoM in the socio-economic development of the country and added that as an educational institution, the UoM has to gear itself up in order to meet the needs and challenges of a rapidly evolving international environment and drive Mauritius into the knowledge economy.
He qualified the 21st century as that of knowledge underpinned by science, innovation and ingenuity technology where he said, there will be an increasing need to equip the human resource with the necessary skills, competencies and aptitudes in order to face the onslaught of the emerging challenges.
In a world where capital and technology are mobile, people remain our key resource, particularly, for Mauritius which is not endowed with unlimited resources, he further stated. The challenge for Mauritius to make its economic way, he added, is to spread educational excellence throughout the entire population.
As far as research is concerned, the President said that the UoM should further engage in foresight activities that could generate new business ideas and accelerate foreign direct investments in high value-adding sectors by helping to explore new avenues of sustainable growth. Relying solely on the traditional pillars of the economy in the age of globalisation is no longer a viable option and that the only way to build resilience is to empower the human resources through effective talent management, and the provision of well designed education and skills development programmes at all levels, he further added.
According to the President, in this new millennium, where conditions are radically different from those that prevailed before, international competition is based on brainpower and interpersonal relationship within the global village. Hence, he added that we should develop these capabilities and nurture a large pool of talented people who can shape a brighter future for Mauritius in a sustainable environment.
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