All India Principlals Conference

“Through education, there is hope of changing society” – Inauguration of the 92nd Principals Conference

_DSC3584It was a special moment in Cottons history, as it held the 92nd All India Principal’s Conference of the Heads of Anglo-Indian Schools in India, graced by the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the Chief Guest, on Sunday, January 5th, 2014.

Other dignitaries who attended the conference included Guest of Honour Mr. Nadan Nilekani, Fr. Jose Aikara, chairman, CISCE, Mr. Gerry Arathoon, Chief Executive and Secretary, CISCE and Mr. Carl Laurie, President, AHAIS (Association of Heads of Anglo-Indian Schools). The event began with an address from Principal John Zachariah, who outlined the basic essence and aims of the meet. Nandan Nilekani and Dalai Lama were next invited to light the ceremonial lamp to inaugurate the meet.

Addressing the gathering, the Dalai Lama Spoke about how he had met several philosophers and spiritual gurus during his stay in India. The common denominator he found in all of their philosophies was that they all aimed at love, self-discipline and tolerance. He also expressed concern over the recurring natural disasters, occurring due to climate change all over the world, citing that man-made problems would only increase unless we developed a sense of oneness of humanity.

The 78 year old Nobel Peace Prize winner went on to say that modern education is materialistic, and one needed to develop a good heart in order to prevent education from being self-centered. Replying to a question from the audience on how to achieve inner peace, he said, “There need to be understanding that anger never helps to solve a problem. It destroys our peace of mind and blinds our ability to think clearly. Anger and attachment are emotions that distort our view of reality.”

The keynote speaker, Mr. Nandan Nilekani, an Old Cottonian and Chairman of The UIDAI, said that students should be taught how to learn and adapt according to the situation. He mentioned that Aadhar was just a simple idea, and how he had relearnt several things in the course of its development, thus helping in the coverage of a large portion of the population. In the same way, students should be curious about their surroundings.

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