It was a moment of joy and nostalgia for leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul as he went down the memory lane visiting his alma mater Doaba College where he studied between 1947 and 1949.
Stepping into the college here to attend its convocation, Lord Paul, a prominent peer in Britain, reminisced his student days and how the teachers at the prestigious institute shaped his mind and inspired him to become successful in life.
"I will always be grateful to the dedicated teachers who guided and inspired me to do my best while I was here and who made me look to the future. Let me pay tribute to all those teachers and convey my heartfelt thanks," he said in his brief but inspiring convocation speech.
Encouraging the students to be the "change" they wish to see in the society, Lord Paul asked them to study hard and take advantage of all the opportunities that are open to them.
"You are the world's leaders of tomorrow and you must shape and change your world. With that comes great power, and great responsibility," he told the graduates attending the ceremony.
Noting that vision for higher education goes beyond opening minds and widening individual horizons, Lord Paul, the Founder Chairman of UK-based Caparo Group, said India has the ability to make use of its young talent and march forward.
"I leave you with this message - search for every opportunity open to you, take every opportunity given to you, and provide every opportunity you can to others. By doing this you will carry on the long tradition of this fine college," he said.
Earlier, in an address at Punjab Technical University, Paul underlined the need for vigorous efforts to make Indian universities world class, saying the fundamental component of long-term economic health will depend largely on skilled work force to meet the challenge ahead.
Talking about economy, he said skilled workforce was fundamental for robust economic growth and that it was good time to concentrate on securing revival of the global economy.
"Across the globe there has been a period of difficult economic times. As we enter the recovery phase, it is a good time to concentrate on securing global economic revival, ensuring sustainability and development for years to come," Lord Paul said.
Expressing concern over failure of any Indian university to feature among the top 200 universities globally, he said concerted efforts are needed to improve standards of education in India.
"It is a cause for concern that the standards of education in many of our institutions are below benchmark. There is not a single Indian institution in the list of top 200 universities in the world," he said.
Observing that a higher rank can boost the morale of the academic and student communities, he said it will encourage greater flow of faculty and students from abroad and help in opening new areas of technology and free exchange of ideas.
"I am a very passionate advocate for education. Education is the foundation on which the strength of a nation rests. It forms the basis for robust, democratic societies and enables economic growth and development."
In the speech, Lord Paul also paid tributes to his daughter Ambika, who died at the age of four-and-half years in 1968, and said it was "her spirit which I feel has guided me all these years".
A statue of Ambika was also unveiled on the occasion.