Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Global humanitarian and spiritual leader, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, has been conferred with an honorary doctorate for his contribution to the development of inter-cultural friendship between India and Russia. The 63-year-old has received the degree from the Ural Federal University, one of Russia's largest institutions of higher learning named after the country's first President, BN Yeltsin.

In his address, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar emphasized on the need for an education that is inclusive and humane.

"It is education that is needed in every corner of this world for a happy peaceful society," Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said. "Whether it is technology, arts or sciences or humanities, it is the universities that give us a universal vision, a vision of what life is, how one should conduct one's life. We have the technology to connect lives, but we need an education that also connects the hearts, where human values are given importance to," he added.

Victor Koksharov, the Rector of the Ural Federal University, appreciated that a volunteer-run organization like The Art of Living could run 618 schools catering to 80,000 children in providing free education.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also encouraged students to incorporate yoga, deep breathing techniques and meditation in their daily routines to lead stress-free lives.

Furthering the cause of a positive exchange of knowledge and skills training between the two institutions, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar signed an MOU between the Ural Federal University and the Sri Sri University in Orissa, India's first alcohol, drugs and smoke-free campus.