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VARANASI : “India’s time is here. As the country heads towards another technological revolution, you have tremendous opportunity to make a quick and radical impact”, Palo Alto Chairperson and CEO, Sh. Nikesh Arora, exhorted the graduating students of BHU in his galvanizing address at the 102nd convocation of the varsity. The BHU alumnus gave five Mantras of perseverance, being curious, being ready to take risks in life, bringing people together and living a life of integrity to the students receiving their degrees during convocation 2022, in order to excel in their careers and life. Nikesh Arora began his address by sharing his personal journey 37 years ago as he arrived on BHU campus to begin his graduation degree and acknowledging the role and contribution of his father, his grandfather and his family in shaping what he is today.

Dwelling on the turnaround technology has seen in the past three decades, Mr. Arora said getting to use a computer was a struggle back then while today we are walking with mobile phones that are 5000 times faster than what he had access to in 1985. He said that the world has seen great revolutions when it comes to technology, be it the discovery of electricity, telephone or the advent of the internet. The next revolution will be around Artificial Intelligence and data which will even change how we make decisions, said Mr. Arora adding that it could be more far reaching developments of contemporary times.

Underlining the promising opportunities India would offer amidst this fresh wave of technological advancements, he suggested that students be persevere in their quest to success, even if they face setbacks. Citing his own example of being rejected for hundreds of jobs before getting an offer, Mr. Arora said, “question is whether one will be able to pick oneself and keep going, as success takes restlessness and perseverance.”

He emphasized on being constantly curious and never stopping learning for achieving the desired goals of success. “I knew nothing about cyber security and today I have the privilege of running the world’s largest cyber security company and the honor of advising corporations and governments around the world”, as he shared his own example.

Mr. Arora encouraged the graduating students to take risks in life and not get comfortable with a no-risk comfort zone. Invoking the revered founder of Banaras Hindu University, Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya ji, he said Mahamana’s determination to establish this great institution wasn’t constrained by any kind of risk, and with one bold plan and its execution he changed higher education in India. “We are all trying to de-risk and have a better life. But if you do this to yourself too much, you are actually running a bigger risk of not making a difference”, he said.

Suggesting students to bring people along in achieving goals, Nikesh Arora said most successful people in the world have been able to perform collectively and make a lot of people put in efforts in the same direction.

Stating an example of his father who as a judicial officer in the Indian Air Force never got intimidated by any pressure or threats in the course of his duty, Mr. Arora appealed to the graduating students to live a life of integrity. “I learned that from my father at the age of 8. Today I take pride in my work while doing the right thing and have a sound sleep, leaving rest to the destiny”, said Mr. Arora, crediting it to the Indian ethos and values he possesses.

He highlighted the strengths and potential in India the world has started noticing. “Today, many companies are relocating their innovation centers to India, and it’s just the beginning”, he mentioned, urging the students to be ready to make the most of this promising opportunity.

The Palo Alto Chief congratulated the students on completing their degrees from a great institution like Banaras Hindu University, by hoping that one of them will be standing up on the dais at this very place and telling a new generation to do the same thing. “A degree from BHU will open doors for you – including some you never knew existed”, said the leading global business executive.

As part of the ceremony the Deans of various faculties presented the successful candidates for award of degrees, which were then conferred by Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sudhir Kumar Jain. The Vice-Chancellor then administered a pledge to the students for promoting the cause of morality and sound learning and upholding social order and well-being of people.

Chief Guest Mr. Nikesh Arora, Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sudhir Kumar Jain and Rector Prof. V K Shukla presented Chancellor’s medals, Late Maharaja Vibhuti Narayan Singh Gold Medals and BHU medals from the dais at the main function in Swatantrata Bhawan. 91 students have been awarded medals in these three categories for the years 2020, 2021 and 2022. (List Attached) A total of 37977 degrees are being conferred to the successful candidates for the three years. 1599 gold medals, silver medals and prizes across faculties are also being presented to the students. Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sudhir Kumar Jain felicitated the chief guest.

Delivering the welcome address, Rector Prof. V. K. Shukla said that convocation of Banaras Hindu University has been addressed by several eminent personalities and statesmen and with Mr. Nikesh Arora, name of another eminent personality has been added in this series. Presenting an introduction of the chief guest of the convocation ceremony, Prof. Shukla said that Mr. Arora’s presence has added to the grandeur of the function. Registrar Prof. Arun Kumar Singh delivered the vote of thanks. Prof. Padmini Ravindranath, Mahila Mahavidyalaya, conducted the program. Dr. Madhumita Bhattacharya, Dr. K. Chanchal and their students from the faculty of Performing Arts presented the rendition of the Kulgeet. Prof. Patanjali Mishra, Faculty of SVDV, chanted the Mangalacharan.

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