Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said teachers play a key role in transforming the society and they can never be replaced by anything, including Google.
"No doubt Google is important, but it can never replace the place of guru (teachers) in the life of students," Naidu said addressing a congregation of graduate, post-graduate and doctorate degree recipients at the 13th Convocation Ceremony of KIIT University, Bhubaneswar.
"Hence the students should be grateful to their gurus and at the same time work to serve mother, mother tongue, and motherland."
"There is nothing wrong in learning English, Hindi or French, (but) students should also be proficient in their mother tongue which comes from the heart and helps one to express his feeling better," said the Vice President.
He said the country will grow when the higher education sector develops.
"We are in the age of LPG -- Liberalisation, Privatisation, and Globalisation. Life has become very competitive today. Therefore, students should prepare themselves for learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge in the contemporary world."
Hailing the country's great culture, he said there is need to go back to the roots.
"India has a great heritage and you should feel proud as inheritors of the great Indian culture. Unity in diversity and being rooted in our culture are important for the integrity of our country," he added.
Calling India a land of opportunities, he said one can achieve anything with hard work and passion irrespective of one's background, citing the examples of former President late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Odisha Governor S.C. Jamir, who also graced the occasion, advised students to work hard, be persistent as well as accommodating, be innovative and entrepreneurial, and to use technology to solve societal problems.
During the convocation, the University honoured three eminent personalities from different walks of life with D.Litt. Honoris Causa degrees -- Raghunath Mohapatra, eminent sculptor; Bithal Das Mundhra, Chairman Emeritus, Simplex Infrastructures Ltd; and Kishanlal Agarwal, Chairman, Bhartia Charitable Trust.