On the 26th of August 2019, Somaiya Vidyavihar University has become a reality. Many of our institutions will combine together to become a part of this University.
In an earlier email, https://president.somaiya.edu/en/view-communications-page/91 I had mentioned how I had promised my grandfather, our founder, Padma Bhushan K. J. Somaiya, that I will, in my lifetime, endeavour to make Somaiya Vidyavihar an institution that any person in the world would want to apply to. This was a condition he made, when he allowed me to go study at Cornell. We traded dreams. My dream to go to Cornell, and his dream to make Somaiya into an institution that his grandson, and by extension, others would aspire to attend.
Becoming a University is a necessary part of that journey and that goal.
Jawahar Lal Nehru said at Indian independence:
‘A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old into the new’
Later he adds
‘The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us.’
This is a similar time for us. Becoming a University is a time for charting our own course. On what we teach, and how we teach it.
Our vision statement https://www.somaiya.edu/en/our-vision articulates the kind of institution we are trying to create.
We do dream of making a world-class institution of teaching, research and service, and build on the aspiration of our founder. We need to imagine what makes for a good education. We need to determine that for ourselves, in our local context, and in the global world that we live in today.
Today, many of our institutions transition to University status. Our other institutions are also part of this journey toward excellence.
I would like to make our new beginning with the old Hindi film song:
आज पुरानी ज़ंजीरों को तोड़ चुके हैं
क्या देखें उस मंज़िल को जो छोड़ चुके हैं
चाँद के दर पर जा पहुंचा है आज ज़माना
नए जगत से हम भी नाता जोड़ चुके हैं
नया खून हैं नई उमंगें, अब है नई जवानी
हम हिन्दुस्तानी …