No takers for politics during Kalam’s interaction

June 18th, 2008 - 1:09 am ICT by IANS  

Aligarh, June 17 (IANS) Most of the students who attended former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s interactive session here Tuesday evening raised their hands when he asked them if they wanted to become engineers, doctors or bureaucrats. However, no one responded when he asked if any of them wished to become a politician. Some 500 students studying in Classes V to VII of different schools of Aligarh had gathered at the Aligarh Muslim University campus here for the question-answer session with the former president.

Kalam was in Aligarh to deliver Wednesday the convocation address to the students passing out of the university.

“Courage is a unique quality of youth,” Kalam said, adding “Science has advanced much and I will take you there (moon).”

Nothing is impossible, he said, and exhorted the school students, “India needs young leaders to let my dream come true. I am always there to help you in the time of need.” He gave his website address, and welcomed the students to contact him at anytime.

Answering 12 out of a barrage of questions, Kalam’s emphasis was on gaining knowledge. “It is a mix of learning, skills and creativity,” he told the students.

To a question about how blind youth could play an active role in realizing `Vision 2020′, Kalam cited an example. “A visually impaired student was among the toppers of IIT Delhi and during my tenure as the president, I got a software developed, besides braille, to assist them to excel,” he said.

He answered a question on time management and said time could not be controlled.

He cautioned those science teachers who had no affection for the subject. He said: “It is a nice subject and if the teacher has no affection for science, he or she should not teach it.”

Advocating mother tongue as the medium of education till class X, Kalam said: “I personally believe it should be like this. I am and I will be promoting it.”

To a question about the growing cost of quality education, Kalam said he initiated necessary steps during his tenure as the president.

“Primary education will soon become free before next year. The financial institutions, like banks, should come forward to make higher education a dream come true for everyone,” Kalam said.

On a query about the linkage of technological development with economics and politics, Kalam said: “Information and Communication Technology, ICT, is the need of the hour.”

Terming `brain drain’ as an uncontrollable factor, he said the figures are not so alarming for a country so large, producing 300 million graduates a year.

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