The 11th Annual Lecture took place on 23rd November 2019. “It’s a historic day for NU today,” said Rajendra S Pawar, Founder, NIIT University and Chairman, NIIT Limited declaring it’s 10-year mark of the establishment of the University. Mr. Vijay Thadani, Co-Founder, NIIT University, reflected on the past 10 years and the foundational role in shaping, the outgoing Chairperson, Dr. Karan Singh had played in the history of NU.
Also, in this auspicious occasion, Padma Vibhushan recipient Dr. Karan Singh has conferred the title of ‘ Doctor Honoris Causa’. The honor was bestowed by the incoming chairperson of NU, Dr. K Kasturirangan.
As over the past years, the Annual Lecture was delivered by Dr. Karan Singh, on the thought-provoking and currently relevant issue, “ Science and Religion: Is There a Conflict?”.
Dr. Karan Singh started off by saying “Science and Religion are both on the quest for the ultimate truth. Science is looking at the outwards while Religion is looking at the inwards”. Science and Religion are surely not in conflict but they don’t merge at the surface level. However, as we move to higher conscious levels, we can see a kind of convergence between them. While acknowledging that there were dichotomies between the two, it also had to be recognized that there was a spiritual characteristic to science and rational characteristic to religion.
He talks about how both science and religion have their own pros and cons while explaining how both have not only done undeniably good to the universe but also caused mass destruction as well. If we talk about great scientific inventions and technological advancements, we must not forget about the nuclear weapons and war equipment leading to violence. If we talk about the power and belief in the spiritual powers of God, we must not forget the religious riots and the destruction caused to animals and people in the name of religion.
Referring to the book “Doors of Perception” by Aldous Huxley he commented that the work actually spurred the study of altered states of consciousness. An interesting remark was made by him on LSD, the once-maligned, misused and illegal substance, which in fact opened the doors to higher and transformational consciousness versus how it has been used and perceived presently.
Lastly, Dr. Karan Singh motivated young students to never stop learning and mentally growing as the mind has vast capabilities and abilities. “You and I talking about the higher consciousness, is indeed higher consciousness,” he said.