Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said technology and innovation would play a major role in the post-Covid-19 world as he urged graduating Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi students to identify with the aspirations of the common people in the context of the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India) campaign.
“The post-Covid-19 world is going to be very different and technology has to play a major role in it. Covid-19 has changed the way things are being conducted today. Virtual reality and augmented reality are becoming the working reality now…it has taught us while globalisation is important, self-reliance is equally important. Today, a favourable environment has been created for the implementation of the ideas and innovation of technocrats and to scale them and market them easily. The country is now committed to giving you the ease of doing business so that you can work on providing ease of living to your countrymen through your ideas and innovations,” the Prime Minister said in his address as the chief guest at IIT Delhi’s 51st annual convocation ceremony, via video conferencing.
Modi urged the students to work towards finding solutions to the country’s existing problems. “Indians have immense faith in technology… There are immense possibilities for you in the country and there are immense challenges confronting the country for which you can give solutions. A lot of work can be done in areas such as disaster management, maintaining the groundwater level, solar power generation, telemedicine, and big data analysis. I can place before you several other examples of the country’s needs,” he said.
Modi added that the challenges could be addressed with innovations, new ideas, and efforts…“That is why it is my request to identify with the aspirations of the common people in the context of Atamnirbanar Bharat.”
Modi asked the students to try to turn the adversity into opportunity amid the pandemic. “You may be feeling your batch is not lucky. I am sure you are asking why did this happen with our graduating batch. But think of it differently. You have a first-mover advantage. You have more time to learn and adapt to the new norms emerging in the workplace and beyond. So, make the most of it and look on the brighter side too,” he said.
The Prime Minister gave four mantras to the students for their workplace. Focus on quality, never compromise, ensure scalability; make your innovations work at a mass scale. assure reliability; build long-term trust in the market and bring in adaptability; be open to change and expect uncertainty as a way of life.
Modi asked the students to continue challenging themselves. “It is important that one keeps challenging oneself and continues to learn every day. It is also important that you treat yourself as a student for life. Never think that what you know is enough.”
Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, who was the guest of honour at the event, congratulated the graduating students for their hard work, commitment. He said, “A new chapter begins today that has to pass the test of the time and in future students should come back to your alma mater one day to offer your ‘Guru-Dakshina’. I appeal to you all to contribute to nation-building initiatives as we are the world’s biggest nation in terms of human capital, and we must all work towards fulfilling the vision of our Prime Minister in creating a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024.”
Nishank also launched an online certificate programme called e-VIDYA under which the institute will offer online certificate courses in areas like cyber-physical system, security, renewable energy storage, and conversion, embedded systems, machine learning, and construction project management, etc.
During the convocation, 2,019 students were awarded degrees, of whom 873 are undergraduate students, 848 postgraduates, and 298 PhD scholars.
Presenting the Director’s report on this occasion, IIT-D director V Ramgopal Rao said, “In the last five years, IIT Delhi faculty and students have written over 10,000 high-quality papers, filed over 500 patents, executed roughly 150 industry projects and obtained over Rs 1,300 crores of research funding from competitive grants from all over the world. We have also created 18 new Centers of Excellence with funding from alumni, industries, and government agencies in the last five years. These numbers are anywhere from 2 times to 4 times higher compared to any previous five-year periods since the inception of the institute.”