Produce ‘cutting edge’ solutions for rural problems: president to IITs

August 8th, 2008 - 6:56 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

Mumbai, Aug 8 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Friday urged the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to address the problems of the rural areas of the country by producing cutting edge solutions for them. “Our farmers are affected by floods, drought, pests, lack of infrastructure and low yields as compared to the rest of the world. IIT engineers have a duty to the nation to produce cutting edge solutions for our rural areas,” Patil said.

Delivering the annual convocation address at IIT-Bombay here, Patil reminded the IITs of their guiding vision and said these institutes of “national importance” were established to contribute to the nation-building process by “employing technical know-how as an essential tool for development of the country”.

Emphasising the need for inclusive approach in spreading the benefits of technology, the president lauded IIT-Bombay’s distance education programmes and providing engineering courses through live transmissions and web-based interactive technologies.

She said that tailor-made courses by IIT-B to train fresh industry recruits in modern technology would help in increasing productivity of Indian industry.

Expressing hope the new eight proposed IITs would further expand the reach of quality technical education in India, she called upon the existing IITs to extend support to the new ones so they could also achieve excellence.

Dwelling on the challenges of the 21st century, the president expressed confidence that IIT graduates would become important partners in India emerging as a global leader in the emerging knowledge society.

“Finding new options and cost-effective solutions for growth require that our scientists stay one step ahead rather than catch-up with the latest technologies. We must constantly look ahead to the technologies of the future so that India can be a storehouse of knowledge and expertise,” she said.

Showering praises on the success achieved by IIT graduates both in India and abroad, the President said that contributing to the national growth could be a more meaningful purpose in life.

“I believe that individual advancement and being partners in the national growth process both could be the purpose of your life. In fact, it is the latter purpose, which you will realize is the higher purpose of your life that can make your life more meaningful and give you greater fulfilment,” she pointed out.

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