The Indian High Commissioner to Australia, Mr Navdeep Singh Suri has called for the need for an element of modernity in our thinking and value system.
He was addressing the audience at Sir Syed Day Celebrations, where he was the Chief Guest, on Saturday 30 January at the Strathfield Town Hall, organized by the AMU Alumni of Australia.
He praised Sir Syed Ahmad Khan who managed to bring about a balance between religion and enquiry and laid down the foundations for the Aligarh Muslim University which has served the community for almost 150 years.
Speaking on education, Mr Suri said that there was a great potential for India to develop vocational education, learning and using Australian strength in this sector.
He said that currently there are around 67,000 Indian students enrolled in Australian educational institution and there were plans to collaborate with TAFE in order to upskill Indians with vocational education.
Previous to his assignment in Canberra starting April 2015, Mr Suri was India’s Ambassador to Egypt and speaks fluent Arabic, a sample of which he displayed at Sir Syed Day.
He highly appreciated the Poem composed by the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, sung in the most melodious way by Mr Riaz Shah at the occasion.
Sir Syed Day is globally celebrated on the birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, founder of the Aligarh Movement that greatly contributed towards the modern education of Indians, Muslims in particular.
AMU Alumni of Australia was founded in the early nineties and has been holding SS Day every year inviting educationists, community leaders and diplomats for a gala dinner, inspiring talks and entertainment.
The President of AMU Alumni, Mr Aale Ali in his welcome address paid tribute to Sir Syed for working single mindedly on his educational mission in spite of widespread opposition from the community elites of the time.
The keynote speaker Professor Veena Sahajwalla from the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT), attended the function with a large contingent of her senior colleagues as well as a number of research students.
She elaborated on her research projects specially with respect to safe and economically sustainable recycling and refurbishment of computer and associated electronic equipment and their use by needy sections of the society.
She emphasized that it was the right of all children and youth globally to access electronic infrastructure and use the internet for their education.
Mr Talal Yassine, Managing Director of Crescent Wealth, highly commended the efforts of the Alumni in the field of education and talked about the financial services provided by Crescent Wealth particularly superannuation and ethical investment.
Dr Samiuddin Syed, Chairman of the Scholarship Committee of the Alumni elaborated on the scholarship program funded from Australia that was greatly benefiting Indian students with poor background giving them access to higher education.
The entertainment included a dress parade, songs and dances by Alumni kids as well as poems sung by Mr Khurshid Anwar and Mr Riaz Shah.
The formal program ended with the usual tradition of Tarana recited from the stage by some members of the Alumni joined in by the audience.
Dinner was served by the popular Himalayan restaurant based in Granville. The event was sponsored by Crescent Wealth amongst others.