Academic institutions can play catalyzing role in Skill India, Start-up India: Mukherjee
New Delhi, September 7, 2016
President Pranab Mukherjee today said higher academic institutions can play a catalyzing role in initiatives like Skill India and Start-up India with their expertise and also involve their students to identify and solve problems at the grassroots level.
Addressing the 1st Convocation of the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Delhi, Mr Mukherjee said the future direction of technical education in India will be guided by frontline engineering institutions like Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and NITs.
An excellent research and teaching infrastructure and a pool of committed faculty will be the pillars to build them into top-notch institutions, he added.
To train students for a globalized world, there is need for competent faculty to render world-class teaching. Refresher courses, participation in international seminars and workshops, and publishing of papers in peer-reviewed journals need to be accorded top priority, the President said.
India is an old land but a young nation. It has developed remarkably after independence, growing in all sectors from industry to agriculture and services, he said.
“Given our potential, we can soon count ourselves amongst the advanced nations of the world. Our aspirations are big but certainly achievable,” he added.
Mr Mukherjee said what gave him the confidence is the capability, skill and talent available in the pool of engineers, technologists, scientists, managers, administrators, policy-makers, doctors, lawyers, scholars and researchers. “They are the ones on whom the onus of meeting our development challenge rests,” he added.
“Our centres of higher learning have the onerous responsibility to mould the nation-builders of tomorrow. They must support the scholastic pursuit and capacity development of students in an efficient manner. They must promote continuous growth and learning. Special capacities must be infused through the education system for nurturing students for a life-time,” the President said.
He segregated these capacities into three important elements. First of all, becoming adept at using technology: with Institutes equipped with knowledge networks and world-class laboratory equipments. This would facilitate students to work and experiment with the best-in-line tools and instruments.
The faculty must keep themselves updated with the latest know-how. Only then dissemination of frontier level knowledge to their students would be possible.
Secondly, a strong research orientation can lead to immense value addition to what the engineering students learn in manufacturing and design.
“The amount of information available in this era of internet and multimedia is simply huge. Students must learn to gather the vast knowledge from outside and apply to their own learning framework to develop innovative designs and models. As budding engineers and scientists, they must keep track of the fast changing needs of society and attempt at solving problems keeping the human aspect in view,” he said.
Thirdly, an aptitude for entrepreneurship for societal development must be fostered. For that, a vision of human betterment must be instilled in students, he added.
Congratulating all the graduating students, Mr. Mukherjee said the maiden convocation is an important milestone for NIT Delhi. Despite operating from a transit campus, it has made best efforts to maintain the standard of education and offer state-of-the-art infrastructure for academic activity.
The institute has carved a niche for itself in a short span of time, he said, and complimented the management for its foresight, the faculty members for their sincerity and dedication, and the staff and other employees for their hard work and commitment. He urged them to move ahead with pride and determination.