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President asks NITs to utilize power of education, science and technology

New Delhi:President Pranab Mukherjee was the chief guest at the Thirteenth Convocation Ceremony of Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (NIT) on Tuesday where he delivered the valedictory address.

He called upon students of the institute to utilise the power of education, science and technology in the right direction to bring positive transformation in society.

“You, as graduates of this Institute, have the responsibility for ushering in societal transformation using the knowledge of science and technology which you have acquired,” Mukherjee said.

Expressing happiness to be a part of the convocation programme, President Mukherjee congratulated the students for successfully completing their degree programme.

“I would also like to thank the management for inviting me to this Institute named after M. Visvesvaraya, an eminent engineer, planner and statesman of our country,” he said.

While remembering M. Visvesvaraya on his birth anniversary, the President quoted his philosophy on technical education. He had said, “No great improvement can be affected without definite ideals and organizations. “Investigate, educate, organize” should be our watchwords if we are to quicken the life pulse of the people and train them for a larger and fuller life.”

The President also expressed happiness that NIT has taken steps to realize M. Visvesvaraya’s philosophy and to sensitize the students to technology enhancement and social causes.

“I am confident that all the students passing out from this Institute will imbibe the ideals, vision, philosophy and professional qualities of Sir Visvesvaraya. I am also glad to know that the convocation of this Institute is usually conducted on the birth anniversary of Sir Visvesvaraya, which is also celebrated as Engineers’ Day in India, to pay tribute to this visionary leader,” he added.

While addressing the students of the institute, Pranab Mukherjee motivated them to work hard to acquire knowledge, technology and skills through the programme of the Institute.

“While achieving this, you might have undergone pressures, ups and downs and anxious moments. On this significant day in your life, you would be experiencing a certain joy and happiness to see your perseverance, hard work and commitment being translated into achievement of your goals and objectives,” said the President.

“I am happy that all of you will now enter the professional field to become part of an active and skilled work force and will also add to the technical progess of our nation,” he added.

While addressing the audience present in the convocation, President Mukherjee said that education in general, and technical education in particular, has always been seen as an instrument of transformation for economic, social and political development of the country.

“We have always emphasized the role of science and technology in solving the problems of society. I am reminded of what Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan had said in 1966 in his Message to the Nation on the occasion of Independence Day, and I quote,

“Science and technology will help us to solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of disease and illiteracy, of superstition and deadening custom, of vast resources running to waste of a rich country inhabited by a poor people.”

Terming technology ‘disruptive’, President Mukherjee urged the students to continuously keep updating their knowledge and skills to deliver substantive outcomes for the organization, society and country.

“I am sure the faculty members of this Institute have empowered you to overcome myriad challenges and become successful leaders in whatever field of work you may decide to work in,” said the President.

Pranab Mukherjee lauded the contribution of technology and the students of technology who play a pivotal role in understanding and furthering the relationship between science, technology and society for a better tomorrow.

“On this momentous day when you set out on your journey into the real world, I call upon each one of you to take a pledge to make the full use of technology for the benefit of mankind and to see that the use of technology spreads happiness, prosperity and general well-being amongst the people of this country,” he added.

President Mukherjee also said that the government of India has initiated the “Start-up India, Stand up India” campaign to promote financing for start-ups and offer incentives to boost entrepreneurship and job creation.

“The success of this initiative will depend on how innovatively we can use the technology as well as human resources available in our country. I call upon you, the young technologists, that instead of looking for job opportunities, you may aim to become entrepreneurs, who create job opportunities for people,” he said.

Pranab Mukherjee also congratulated Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi for figuring in the top 200 in the QS World University Rankings of 2015-16. President said he is delighted that IISc, Bangalore and IIT, Delhi has been ranked at No. 147 and 179 respectively.

President Mukherjee added that a high rank not only boosts the morale of the academic community but also opens greater avenues of growth and placement for students.

“The NITs, as institutes of national importance, have to take a lead in creating the capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship and align it with the national development goals. I would like to call upon your institute to take a lead in this direction,” he added.

President Mukherjee further said, “You are a valuable asset to your profession and to the intellectual wealth of our nation. India is a country full of opportunities as well as challenges. Each one of us aspires for change. I would like to conclude by quoting Mahatma Gandhi who had said, “Be the change that you wish to see in this world.” I once again wish all of you the very best in your chosen fields of activity. I am sure you will make all of us proud of your achievements in the years to come.” (ANI)