The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for tapping the creative potential of the country’s youth to make India a leading knowledge and innovation hub.
Addressing the students at the first Graduation Ceremony of PSG Institute of Technology and Applied Research at Coimbatore today, the Vice President said that in this age of Intellectual Property Rights, the innovation and entrepreneurship of young professionals will play a major role in propelling India’s economy to newer heights and in creating an inclusive society.
“Please remember that knowledge is going to be the driver of Indian Economy and will play a vital role in improving the living conditions of the people. Therefore, India must rise to the occasion and reorient its higher education system to be globally competitive”, Shri Naidu added.
Stressing the need to harvest India’s demographic dividend, the Vice President said that the time has come to reposition India as one of the leading economic powers in the world. “We need to vastly expand our manufacturing industry, apart from turning our higher education institutions into world class centres of learning”, he added.
Pointing to the need for providing our youth with the wherewithal to make them job creators instead of allowing them to end up as job seekers, Shri Naidu called for focusing on skill training, skill upgradation and promoting innovative entrepreneurship to meet the demands of various sectors, including agriculture.
Urging the youngsters to always uphold ethical values, the Vice President asked them to be responsible towards expectations and aspirations of the larger society.
Referring to former Prime Minister, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri ji’s clarion call of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” which was expanded to include “Jai Vigyan” by our former Prime Minister, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, Shri Naidu said that in the current context, the slogan should read “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan”, thus highlighting the crucial need for connectivity. Connectivity is key for development, he added.
Speaking about the power held by technology to transform lives, Shri Naidu said that technology should facilitate the access to basic facilities of life such as education and health. He added that IT brought the power of technology to our palm top. ‘Let this power be delivered to vulnerable sections and to improve the living conditions of the common man’, he said.
Underlining the importance of learning by doing, by designing, experimenting and finding solutions to contemporary problems, the Vice President urged students to focus on multidisciplinary applications of knowledge and new technologies such as Robotics, Big-Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.
Following is the text of Vice President’s address:
“I am delighted to interact with you all and share some of my thoughts on this momentous occasion of the First Graduation ceremony of PSG Institute of Technology and Applied Research.
Ever since I have assumed this august office of the Vice President of the country, I have used every opportunity to interact with the talented young citizens of our country. And every such occasion fills me with great sense of optimism and hope for a bright future of the country.
My visits to the educational institutions have been like a pilgrimage.
A visit to an educational institution is a pilgrimage for a better and brighter future of our society. And today my visit to this prestigious institution is one such occasion.
The students of this batch have set an example for the future batches.
I am told that more than 85% students of the first batch have secured placement in the field of their core competence.
I congratulate you all for a brighter and promising career.
In Indian tradition it is said that knowledge can neither be taxed, nor can it be stolen, neither can it be divided among siblings, it only increases by spending and sharing, therefore wealth of the knowledge is the best among all types of wealth.
Living by this sublime ideal, the PSG & Sons’ Charities Trust has spread knowledge among more than 3 lakh students mostly from weaker section through their 30 educational institutions ever since this charitable organization was established in 1924. I compliment the management of the charity, the faculty and the students for their great contributions to the national upliftment.
We have all grown up with the Shastri ji’s clarion call of “ Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan”. After the successful Operation Shakti in 1998, our former Prime Minister Atal ji added “ Jai Vigyan” to this slogan, underlining the importance of science and technology in modern society. Today, we need to repose trust in the innovative spirit of our future entrepreneurs and professionals. The slogan now should be “ Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan” .
We need to strengthen the value chain between lab and land, from the conception of an innovative idea to its development into a commercial product. In this age of Intellectual Property rights, innovation and entrepreneurship of young professionals will play a major role in propelling our economy to newer heights and in creating an inclusive society.
Please remember that knowledge is going to be the driver of Indian Economy and will play a vital role in improving the living conditions of the people. Therefore, India must rise to the occasion and reorient its higher education system to be globally competitive.
Education is not only for employment. It should empower the individual with knowledge and wisdom to sift the wheat from the chaff. Access to education for all and at all levels is equally essential to ensure inclusive growth and prevent any kind of discrimination.
At present India enjoys immense demographic dividend with 65% of our population being under 35 years. We have a work force of around 48 crores with a crore joining every year. However, we have a very narrow window of 20 years till 2040 to harvest this demographic dividend.
As we have the advantage of one of the largest educated youth force, the need of the hour is tap their creative potential to the optimum to make India a leading knowledge and innovation hub. Please remember that India was once called as ‘Vishwaguru’ and the country used to contribute 27 per cent of the global GDP.
The time has come to reposition India as one of the leading economic powers in the world. We need to vastly expand our manufacturing industry, apart from turning our higher education institutions into world class centres of learning.
At the same time, we need to focus on skill training, skill upgradation and promote innovative entrepreneurship to meet the demands of various sectors, including agriculture. We have to provide our youth with wherewithal to make them job creators instead of allowing them to end up as job seekers.
I am happy that our young entrepreneurs are gradually becoming job providers. Today more than 1.5 lakh jobs have been generated by Start Ups. India is increasingly emerging as innovation society and I am glad that as many as 21 States including Tamil Nadu, have formulated their Start Up policies to encourage and incentivize Start Up entrepreneurs. Today with 39,000 Start Ups, we are the second largest global hub of Start ups. It is also heartening to note that 44% of these Start Ups are located in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. That indicates the culture of innovative entrepreneurship is confined to big cities and is also thriving in smaller towns.
The global investors have confidence in our Start Ups. Investment in these Startup enterprises through Alternative Investment Funds has reached Rs. 80,000 crores. This shows resilience and business viability of our entrepreneurs.
I am happy that PSG Institute of Technology has realized the importance of innovation and you are inculcating and promoting the spirit of innovation and applied research through your Centres of Excellence and Innovation Centers.
I am happy to note that in association with prominent industry players and others, you have set up Centers of Excellence and Innovation Centres for virtual instrumentation, conducting training programs, workshops and internships for students in Mobile application and Internet of Things (IoT), developing requisite skills for a digital economy and eYantra Robotic lab with the help of IIT, Bombay.
I am told that you have also set up Product Application Center (PAC) to ensure that students connect engineering concepts with real world engineering applications.
These Centers of Excellence are excellent examples of Industry- academy partnership and will give requisite exposure to students of applied research, explore new ideas and test their technical applicability and business viability. The students shall have exposure to a wider spectrum of developments taking place in the field of engineering and technology.
I am happy to learn that PSG Design Data Book is popular among all engineering colleges in India and abroad.
I am confident that the young students, startup innovators and young entrepreneurs, who are passing out today will make this institution proud.
While doing so, please remember the vision Statement of your esteemed institution, that is “To achieve excellence in education and research, and nurture engineers with ethics…”. Always remember the ethical values imparted by your institution and teachers. Be responsible towards expectations and aspirations of the larger society.
You have a promise to keep with larger society. You have a commitment towards community. Thirukkural says
“Learn flawlessly all that is to be learnt and then live true to it.”. Be true to your knowledge, values and wisdom. I am extremely pleased to know that PSG through its Corporate Social Responsibility has been sharing wisdom of Indian Philosophy through monthly discourses.
These lessons are important to keep you grounded in your social ethos.
The charitable and philanthropic work undertaken by PSG and Sons Trust is truly commendable and worthy of emulation by others. PSG founder, PS Govendaraj had shown his concern for the underprivileged through his charitable deeds and not by mere words. While he has three sons, he divided his properties into four parts so that the activities of the Trust could be run by the apportioned portion. The country needs more and more such organizations to cater to the requirements of the poor and marginalized sections.
The resilience of a society is reflected in its relentless pursuit of an improved quality of life for its citizens. A significant portion of our citizens still do not have easy access to essential social resources. We need to enhance access to services like education, quality health care, timely, authentic and relevant information, access to government services and e-governance initiatives.
Technology should facilitate the access to these facilities. IT brings power to your palm top. Let this power be delivered to vulnerable sections. Ensure that the new technologies are used to improve the living conditions of the common man, particularly the marginalized sections like women, farmers, unorganized laborers and each citizen of our country.
The global landscape is changing fast. We are now living in exciting times. India has emerged as the fastest growing major economy in the world and is projected to become the third largest in the coming years. As a result, the opportunities for the youth will be abundant in various fields. However, the educational institutions must change according to changing times and impart relevant skill sets to young students. Accordingly, the curricular and pedagogical methods have to be recast.
Students need to learn by doing, by designing and experimenting and finding solutions to contemporary problems. Students need to focus on multidisciplinary applications of knowledge. New technologies such as Robotics, Big-Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence are going to play a major role in shaping our lives. We need products and technologies that are indigenous, low cost, rapidly deployable at a mass scale, robust and resilient to disruptions.
I would also like to emphasise the importance of organising students’ field visits to rural areas by higher educational institutions. Students should be made to spend a few days with families in rural areas so that they experience firsthand the problems and challenges faced by people in villages. It will enable them to think and come up with new ideas to overcome the challenges faced by rural people.
We must never be complacent and be satisfied with what we have achieved. Innovation requires constant churning of ideas and creative, thinking to develop unique products.
I am sure you will continue your quest for excellence in the years to come. Retain your innovative instinct to disrupt the status quo.
As Thirukkural states-
తొట్టనైత్తు ఊరుం | మణర్కేణి మాంతరుక్కు |
కట్ర నైత్తు ఊరుం అరివు |
“The deeper you dig a sandy bed, the more water flows; even so, the deeper you learn, the greater is your wisdom”.
I am optimistic that the students, scholars and faculty members of this relatively young institution will shape this institution as a benchmark in the next wave of technological change.
I compliment you on your dreams and hope you will put in adequate efforts to achieve them. I wish the PSG Institute of Technology every success in realizing your vision for India’s glorious future.