New Delhi: The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu today asked NITs and other Indian universities to strive to be among the top ranking global institutions.
Delivering the Convocation address at National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, on its Diamond Jubilee Year, the Vice President lauded NIT Surathkal for being among the top ten institutions in the country and said that it should not remain satisfied with its accomplishment rather it should strive to emerge as an institution of global eminence. Sounding a word of caution to higher education institutions against adopting the ‘business-as-usual’ approach, Shri Naidu said that it is unfortunate that Indian institutions do not figure among the top educational institutes globally.
The Vice President wanted education system to create the right eco-system for innovation and creativity to thrive. “Innovation, inventions and discoveries must become buzzwords on the campuses of IITs, NITs and Universities. The ability to innovate, use discoveries and inventions to create new markets and new products has been recognized as the key to success in the new millennium”, he added.
Observing that the culture of innovations has to be supported and sustained through investments, the Vice President said that there was a great scope for private sector investments to promote Research & Development in universities and academic institutions.
“I urge the private sector to create a corpus fund under CSR activities to fund research projects that have societal benefits,” he added.
The Vice President asked institutions such as the NIT Surathkal to play a key role in making India a global hub of knowledge, innovation and skilled manpower. He stressed the need equip the youth with skills in tune with the requirements of the digitally-driven, knowledge-based 21st century.
Given the demographic advantage enjoyed by India, he said “we have the capability to not only meet the requirements in the country but also many other nations, particularly those with aging population.”
Observing that achieving sustained economic growth, improving the quality of life of people were the purpose of science and technology, the Vice President asked premier institutes to create a world-class pool of scientists and technologists who could provide innovative solutions to pressing problems such as climate change and pollution
Stating that protecting the environment, combating the effects of climate change and ensuring social equity were the critical issues that must be factored into modern engineering designs, the Vice President said that there was a need to redefine, restructure and reorganize our technical and engineering systems to ensure sustainable development.
Shri Naidu stressed that students must be provided opportunities to develop social and emotional skills along with cognitive skills. “Students should develop cultural awareness, empathy, perseverance, grit, teamwork and leadership, among others,” he added.
Shri Naidu also called for integrating rich legacies and traditions of India with modern education to help develop creativity and originality of students and to encourage them to innovate.
The Minister of Fisheries, Ports and Inland Transport, Govt. of Karnataka, Shri Kota Srinivas Poojary, Prof. K Balaveera Reddy, Chairperson, Board of Governors, NITK-Surathkal, and Prof. K. Uma Maheshwar Rao, Director NITK-Surathkal were among the dignitaries present at the event along with the students of NIT Surathkal.