His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos,

Major Archbishop, Malankara Catholic Church and Patron,
Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology [MBCET],

Ms. Gopika M.S., Insight Analyst, Linkedin Alumni Representative,

Fr. John Vilayil, Bursar, MBCET and Convenor, Award Committee,

Dr. T.M. George, Principal,

Ms. Irene Tenison, Award Winner,

Prof. S. Viswanatha Rao, Vice Principal,

Priya Madhyama Suhruthukkale,

Dear Students and Teachers,

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Ellavarkkum Ente Namaskaram.

I am very happy to address you after presenting the Mar Baselios Youth Excellence Awardinstituted by the Management of the Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram.

First I would like to convey my congratulations and best wishes to Ms. Irene Tenison, student of TKM College of Engineering who has won this prestigious award.

I also compliment the management of the college for instituting this award as a tribute to the revered memory of the late His Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Baselios Catholicos, the Founder of this institution, which is accredited by National Board of Accreditation [NBA].

As we present this award, it is befitting that we remember the vision and services of the founder, who was also the first Major Archbishop of Thiruvananthapuram. His vision was to train and develop men and women of higher caliber, destined to help people in their march towards progress and to bring glory and honor to the nation. Moreover, he expected students to strive for excellence.

Striving for excellence is a national ideal mentioned in the Fundamental Duties of our Constitution and it says that we must strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement. As students of various branches of science, technology and liberal arts we must always remember that it is the sincere devotion of the student to the pursuit of knowledge that yields excellence as it has been asserted in our ancient traditions: श्रद्धावानलभतेज्ञानम्.

To attain the excellence in knowledge, there is one more requirement expounded by Indian tradition. It says: तपःस्वाध्यायनृत्तमwhich means a life informed by austerity and hardship. The hardship and austerity associated with the life of a student are part of self-discipline that is imposed by the seeker of knowledge voluntarily.

Our former President APJ Abdul Kalam echoed this wisdom when he said: “Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep”.

Other than the sphere of individual activity, excellence in collective activity is equally significant for national building and progress as many hands and heads working in unison are absolutely essential to take the country forward.

Here lies the importance of team work, which is possible only through understanding and mutual trust, which is a quality that fosters excellence.

We must also remember that excellence is cultivated best in an environment of fraternity which assures the dignity of the individual. This can transform the individuals into persons a condition precedent for achieving excellence.

This transformation happens by the addition of the value of social responsibility which motivates us to live not just for ourselves but for others as well. To recall the words of Swami Vivekananda: “they alone live, who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive”.

I had spelt out the concept of Excellence only to remind my young friends that most of these qualities are visible in the achievements of the winner of today's award.

Recognition as the best data scientist in competitions, being a volunteer at the ‘Mission Reconnect’ to restore power after the Floods of 2018, and establishing a Start up for Innovation in Agriculture are some of her major accomplishments.

In these achievements, we see the reflection of academic brilliance, team work based on mutual trust, sense of social responsibility and concern for others. Undoubtedly she has achieved excellence in the work that she has done so far and we hope that this recognition will inspire her to do even better.

Ms Irene Tenison deserves our compliments on one more account. She has achieved this excellence at a time when there is a relatively low participation of Women in core areas of engineering and technological research.

Therefore, her success should encourage others especially girl students, aim for higher realms of technology and management.

Excellence in education is also measured in terms of the skills acquired in addition to one’s degrees. The acquisition of skills must be paid adequate attention keeping in mind its significance in matters of employment.

Along with skills, we need to emphasize innovation in every area of technology and management education. The text books are important, but the application of the knowledge for the creation of deliverable technologies is more important.

It is gratifying to know that many campuses are providing facilities for incubation of startup and other business ideas. These facilities would help us in utilizing the demographic dividend due to India becoming a nation of young people.

I am happy that today’s award has been sponsored by the Alumni Association of this college. I appreciate this gesture of the Association and hope that the institution and the students would benefit in more ways through their continued support.

I must also appreciate the progress made by Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology (MBCET), which is one among the 18 institutions, established by the Malankara Syrian Catholic Church, which has been in the field of Education in the State for over eight decades.

Before I conclude I would like to refer to the remarks of GREGORY JONES a prominent columnist who writes on Christian moral perspectives to highlight the true significance of the concept of excellence. He says:

As human beings, we long for excellence in our lives and among those with whom we interact. We hope to be treated by an exceptional physician. We desire to learn from a master teacher. We relish the opportunity to hear a gifted musician.

So also we long for what Paul calls “a still more excellent way” in our Christian life and witness. For Paul, this way of excellence is a way of love patterned in Christ. It is an invitation to a journey, a way of life with God and others shaped by a love that ‘is patient, kind, not envious or arrogant, does not insist on its own way,’ and one that “never ends.”

I once again congratulate Ms. Irene Tenison and wish her success in future.

My best wishes to all the students of this college to achieve excellence in their chosen fields.


                                                           लोका: समस्ता: सुखिनो भवन्तु ।
                                                                    वलरे नन्नि
                                                                  जय हिन्द ।