Inspiring speech by the President at the convocation of NIT Durgapur

The President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee attended the 9th Convocation at National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Durgapur on Friday (November 22). The President, who was the chief guest of the convocation at the deemed varsity in Durgapur delivered a very distinctive and inspiring speeches urging the incorporation of advanced technology in education to help in nation building.

Beginning his address at the convocation with a famous quotation of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, ““Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all” the President set the tone for the rest of his speech.

Mukherjee said NITs must pursue a culture of excellence and give greater priority to technology-enabled teaching like e-classrooms for wider diffusion of information and knowledge.

Lamenting that India has not done enough in the field of research, President Pranab Mukherjee pitched for linking research by educational institutions with the industry.

“I feel sad that out of 200 world’s top (educational) institutions, not a single institution from India finds its place…India is no longer leader of the world in education. But that was not the scenario earlier when India dominated the space of Higher Education for 1,800 years from 600 BC to 1200 AD ,” the President said.

Mukherjee said the problem was not that the country lacked talent but there is a need for proper coordination and emphasis on research and development…

President Pranab Mukherjee said, “Our future progress will depend increasingly on our ability to innovate, to devise efficient processes for the industrial sector and better solutions for governance.”

He said it is necessary to permeate the spirit of innovation to all sectors – business, government, education and society.

Mukherjee recommended establishing ‘industry cells’ so that collaborative research can take place to satisfy the needs of the market. “Premier technical institutions like IITs and NITs have a responsibility to spearhead research in various branches of science. They have to become institutions of research apart from being institutions of learning,” the President said.

At the concluding part of his speech, the President said: “Our institutions must be able to challenge the frontiers of knowledge and be able to make revolutionary contributions in different disciplines. They must find solutions that help the common man lead a better life. They must be able to guide policymakers on issues ranging from energy security to environment degradation, sanitation, urbanization, healthcare and education.”

Governor of West Bengal, Mr. M K Narayanan was also present at the convocation of NIT Durgapur. The President and the Governor reached Durgapur by a helicopter. After attending the convocation of NIT, the duo proceeded towards Burdwan where they attended the 34th Convocation of Burdwan University.

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