Times desk: Professor Yunus was invited to Chandigarh University, Punjab, India at the Convocation Ceremony of the university on January 8, 2017.
He was invited by the Chancellor of the University to join its Executive Council which is the highest policy-making body of the university. Professor Yunus attended the ceremony as the convocation speaker and he was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Science degree.
On arrival at the university, the Vice Chancellor and senior faculty received Professor Yunus in the manner of Punjabi tradition of festivities.The entire campus was decorated with festoons displaying his portraits.
The Vice Chancellor gave a presentation on the university detailing all the achievements and grand accomplishments in past years. He particularly focused on the innovative curricula of the university which is drawing the attention of international students from twenty countries. Professor Yunus had an intensive discussion session with the VC, Pro-VC, Members of the Executive Council, Dean of Business School and other senior faculty, on the role of the university for building the future generations. Vice Chancellor announced in the meeting that a Yunus Centre for Social Business will be established in the university in collaboration with Yunus Centre of Bangladesh. Besides offering social business courses, this Centre will hold a National Forum on Social Business each year at various locations in India.
Professor Yunus was taken around the R&D laboratories which are working in collaboration with the prestigious international companies as well as the renowned Indian companies. He visited the business incubation centre of the university which has been established inspired by the ideas of Professor Yunus himself. It may be mentioned that the Chandigarh University R&D register more than 25 patents each year.
In the convocation, the honorary degree of Doctor of Science was conferred on Professor Yunus by the Chancellor of Chandigarh University. The Vice- Chancellor mentioned that he had been trying to bring Professor Yunus to Chandigarh University for the last six years. Finally he succeeded in getting him as the Convocation Speaker this year. Prof. Yunus in his speech encouraged the graduates to use their knowledge for social good, and not to be afraid to explore where one does not have formal knowledge. Professor Yunus mentioned that he founded Grameen Bank even though he had no formal training in banking.
He thought banking system is erroneous because the bank gives money to those who already have a lot of money, not to those who do not have money- this motivated him to create Grameen Bank which lends money to the poor. He asked the graduates to be entrepreneurs and try to be job creators rather than job-seekers. He reminded the graduates that they are lucky not only because they are graduating at a time of wonderful technologies which can easily enable them to be innovative and entrepreneurial for social goals, also because they are from this university whose mission is to enable them to serve the society. Professor Yunus explained how a new world can be created by the power of social business, power of technology, and the power of the youth.
He urged them to realize three zeros –zero poverty, zero unemployment, and zero net carbon emission. He called upon the graduates to help usher a new world of three zeros. The Vice Chancellor declared that the university is proud that Professor Yunus has agreed to be a member of the Executive Council of the Chandigarh University.
SK/RN/ 10 January 2017