The inauguration ceremony for the Master’s Program in Political Leadership and Governance started with aplomb at 1050 hrs with the arrival of the guests of honour and the Chief guest, who were received by the senior officials of MIT-WPU and MIT-SOG. Afterwards they offered flowers at the Sant Dnyaneshwara statue and were then treated to a visit to the MIT-SOG library, which was met with much praise by the guests. Meanwhile the students for the batch started assembling eagerly at the Sant Dnyaneshwara hall. Meanwhile the guests were served refreshments before being ushered to the dais in the hall by 1130 hrs. The national anthem was sung followed by a welcome speech given by Prof Dr S Haridas (Dean, Faculty of commerce and economics, MIT-WPU and Associate Director, MIT-SOG). Then the prominent guests were felicitated and the traditional lightning of the lamps by the guests was done.

The guests and students were then treated to a film on the MIT School of Governance and the Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad which received rave reviews by all assembled. Shri Rahul Karad, Executive President, MIT-WPU then gave a speech detailing what the students should be prepared to expect along with how much work is required to fulfil the political obligations of the entire nation. He spoke about the initiatives he has spearheaded under the aegis of MIT-WPU, namely Bhartiya Chhatra Sansad, National Teacher’s Congress, National Women’s parliament and Sarpanch Sansad. Mr Sithanand Kumar and Ms Sandhya Sonawane, participants in the Master’s Program in governance, batch of 2014, came to the dais and gave their own views about how the program helped them to the assembled students. Their lovely speech was followed by one given by Dr Srihari Honwad (Provost, MIT-WPU).

By 1210 hrs Prof Dr I K Bhat (VC, MIT-WPU)gave a short introductory speech followed by an impassioned speech delivered by Prof Dr Vishwanath D Karad (Founder President, MIT-WPU) on the importance of good governance and the need to make our parents and society proud of what we achieve in life. His speech was followed by a brief film on the life of Sri Pankaj Singh (MLA, Noida and State General Secretary for the BJP). After the film the man himself came on stage to give a speech ensuring the assembled youth understand the power of politics along with the need for active participation in the political sphere of the country today. His speech was met with rousing applause! After his speech, a short film on National Women’s Parliament was shown along with a film detailing the life of another guest, Dr Rita Bahuguna Joshi (Minister, Women and family welfare, Mother and Child Welfare and Tourism, for the state of Uttar Pradesh). Then at 1245 hrs she came on the dais and gave a speech detailing the importance and role of women in todays day and age along with the hurdles they face and how initiatives like NWP have a positive effect on society as a whole and women’s upliftment in particular. She spoke of how NGO work is a fine avenue to enter into politics, quoting her own example. Everyone was moved by the strength of her convictions.

The academic plan for the MPG course, batch of 2018 was then unveiled to the delight of all present after which a short film on the chief guest of the event Sri Harish Rawat (General Secretary, AICC & party in-charge for Assam, Former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Former Union Minister of Water Resources, Government of India) was shown to all present. Then the man himself took to the dais and everyone was eagerly awaiting his words. They were not disappointed. Sri Harish Rawat spoke at length of the changes that have occurred in politics from when he joined till today. He also spoke of the importance of politics and how participation in politics is the only way by which the country can reform and move forward. He shared his experiences of governance as well as the growing intolerance within our nation, something he is very much against. The applause he received at the conclusion of his speech was genuine and heartfelt.

There was a vote of thanks given afterwards. The national anthem was sung and a group photograph with all present was taken. After that the inauguration ceremony concluded and the guests all retired for a well deserved VIP lunch while the students went their way with renewed zeal in their hearts!

   
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