The University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed all the universities and affiliated colleges to make short clips on “unification” as a part of National Unity Day celebrations on October 31, 2016. The best three clips would be screened at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The Centre observes October 31 as ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ (National Unity Day) to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, popularly known as Iron Man of India. He was also the first Home Minister of India.
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The universities and colleges have been directed to conduct various activities on their campuses on October 31. They will indulge in pledge taking ceremony, unity run, slogan-writing contests, plays, march past and much more.
Jaspal S Sandhu, Secretary of UGC wrote a letter to the Vice Chancellors (VCs) of varsities to conduct a week-long campaign starting October 31, in the memory of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, who played a significant role in merging princely states into the Indian Union. The Commission also recommended felicitating the freedom fighters, recording and recollecting the stories of Patel.
Sardar Vallabhai Patel is often regarded as the founder of the Republic of India. He was a barrister and statesman. Born in Gujarat, he played a significant role in organising peasant movements in his region against the oppressive policies imposed by British Raj. Patel was also an adherent follower of Mahatma Gandhi. He was a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) as well. It was due to the efforts of Patel that around 560 princely states were merged into the Indian Union at the time of independence.