President of India delivers address at University of Cyprus; says pursuit of excellence should inspire minds of future generations

New Delhi: The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, delivered an address at the University of Cyprus today (September 4, 2018). The theme of the address was “Youth, Technology and Ideas: Shaping the Contours of the 21st Century”.

Addressing the gathering, the President said we live in a rapidly evolving world. The scale of change we are likely to see in a decade or so will be unprecedented in human history. The world of technology, start-ups, innovations, new ideas, digital assistants, clean energy and pasta straws would reorient our daily lives in an unbelievable manner. What is of deeper import is that perhaps for the first time in history, youth are directly involved in bringing about sweeping changes and on such a massive scale.

The President said that technology has opened a whole new world of learning. And it has also made it easier to accomplish our tasks. One should, however, not get carried away by the instant nature of technology. The pursuit of excellence should be the key factor that dominates the minds of future generations.

The President said the changing world demands greater collaboration among the global community. We must create open source platforms for communities and countries to access the fruits of science and technology. Access, equity and inclusion should remain key to developing and deploying technologies. The Indian experience is of relevance. Empowerment through digital access is an objective that the Government of India is committed to.

The President said that a far greater challenge for us is to manage climate change and environmental stress. For the present generation, this challenge amounts to dealing with variability in weather patterns, flash floods and forest fires. The severity might be far more serious for future generations. The problem is not insurmountable. By adding sustainability to development, by preserving forests, respecting ecology and by adopting clean energy options, we can tackle climate change. On this count, India has taken the lead through the International Solar Alliance. As two ancient cultures, India and Cyprus have lived in harmony with nature for centuries. It is time for us to bring sustainable practices into our modern lives. New age technology combined with the wisdom of the past can solve many of our ecological problems.

Following the conclusion of his visit to Cyprus, the President left for Bulgaria. This will be the second leg of his journey to three European nations – Cyprus, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. This evening (September 4, 2018), he will meet and address the Indian community in Sofia.

Yesterday evening (September 3, 2018), the President attended a banquet hosted in his honour by President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus. Speaking on the occasion, the President said India and Cyprus have always been open and receptive to ideas, cultures and peoples. Our shared historical experience and sensibilities have drawn us closer as friends and as partners. We have been steadfast supporters of each other on issues of vital concern. India’s commitment to Cyprus and its territorial integrity remains deep and abiding.

The President said that India and Cyprus are located in a challenging security environment. We must support each other in our quest for peace and security. India deeply appreciates the strong condemnation of terrorist acts by Cyprus and looks forward to closely working with it to defeat and destroy terrorism.