2000 years ago, India was the global seat of higher learning. Universities like Takshashila attracted learners from all over the world and created some of the finest leaders and scholars in human history including Chanakya and Chandragupta, and knowledge systems like Ayurveda and Arthashastra. The hallmark of such education was the emphasis on achieving one’s full potential.
Swami Vivekananda called this vision ‘rishihood’, the state of being a rishi. Rishihood University is an effort to give shape to this vision, restoring the legacy of Takshashila and bringing about a change in India’s education system.
The formal Inauguration of Rishihood University took place on 18th December at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, in the esteemed presence of the Hon’ble Vice President of the Republic of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu. He expressed the urgent need to Indianise our education system for the sake of India’s emergence as a global learning hub. “The colonial education system has created an inferiority complex and diffidence in people. For any country to flourish and develop, it is important to draw from its roots. I’m happy to be inaugurating Rishihood University today, and I congratulate all faculty and students at this educational institution.”
He also said that there is a need for a value-based transformation in the education system, as envisioned in the National Education Policy 2020. “Education is a mission. It’s not for simply commission. Let us not give any remission or not do any omission and take this as a passion, for the sake of the nation, and work together and move ahead” – he added.
Founding members Shri Motilal Oswal, Dr. Chinmay Pandya, Shri Suresh Prabhu Ji and Shri Ashok Goel Ji were also present at the inaugural event and shared their vision and thoughts about the university and education reforms.
Founding Chancellor Shri Suresh Prabhu (Rajya Sabha MP & Former Union Cabinet Minister), gave a glimpse of the golden era of India’s education when universities like Takshashila and Nalanda were the centers of India’s wisdom and prosperity. He said, “India’s prosperity is rooted in its value system that was propagated through its robust education system.” Emphasizing the immense prosperity these ancient giants of learning brought to India, Sureshji said, “their prosperity could be the reason why the invaders choose to destroy them. Nalanda’s physical body was attacked and destroyed several times. But they could never destroy Nalanda’s spirit. Today, with the same spirit, we open Rishihood University to the world” – he said.
“Rishihood will bring in the best of what we had in the past but also what needs to be put into the place for making India’s future bright. It’s an amalgam of both the old traditions, values but marrying it into today’s reality.”
We had with us Shri Motilal Oswal, Group MD, Oswal Financial Services Ltd, and co-founder, Rishihood University. He said in his welcome speech, “Takshashila offered courses in 64 fields 2700 years ago, and was the world’s only known center of excellence. We wish to bring those days back with Rishihood University.”
Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya and the grandson of one of the greatest scholars, Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya. Enlightening the audience on leadership and Rishis, Dr. Pandya spoke about the understanding that money alone does not offer people the life they are looking for rather the meaning and direction of life play an important part to make it all a celebration.
He shared an insightful story about Swami Vivekananda that illuminates us about his trust in India’s traditions and values with utmost conviction and describes India as the one nation where knowledge, sacrifice, compassion, human emotions and aspirations, and the human will to rise and grow have found the most fertile land to develop.
“Current times may look dark and gloomy but they shouldn’t fear us. Rather we should embrace them like a call of action. Because it’s a sign that we are born at a very special time. And only we can change the world.”
– Dr. Chinmay Pandya reiterating his grandfather Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya’s thoughts
The event concluded with a vote of thanks from Shri Ashok Goel, co-founder of Rishihood University and Chairman of Essel World Mumbai. He said, “today is the beginning to train the future generations so that they can solve upcoming challenges through innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and impact. It’s about building the legacy of wisdom that our Rishis have left us.”
“It is not just a university but a larger mission for nation-building and human development.”
Watch the inaugural event on YouTube: