Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today called upon all Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) in the country to nurture students to become responsible citizens of the country.
He said that every graduate passing out of the portals of this institution must not only be academically proficient, they must also be ethical, compassionate and honest individuals.
Recalling the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, the Vice President said that education without character was a sin.
Addressing the Convocation of National Institute of Technology, Tadepalligudem in Andhra Pradesh he called for a renewed focus on innovation at all technical institutions and create an ecosystem for innovation to thrive. He wanted them to evolve their curricula and teaching methods constantly to suit the times and strive to bring out the best in each student.
Reiterating that the ultimate aim of science and technology was to make lives of the people comfortable and happy, the Vice President said that it was time for young engineers to find solutions to problems such as climate change, poverty, and others. He wanted to encourage students to come up with out-of-box solutions to improve the lives of common people.
Mentioning the importance of technology in transforming the lives of people, he urged young technocrats to understand the real problems faced by Indian agriculture, including fragmented land holdings and insufficient market access and find solutions.
Calling for collective efforts to double farmer’s income and to ensure the profitability of agriculture, the Vice President asked scientists and engineers to create better weather prediction systems and explore ways and means to make agriculture more resilient.
Stating that boosting India’s homegrown food production to overcome hunger and feed a billion people was of paramount importance, Vice President Naidu asserted that imported food security was never a solution.
Observing that climate patterns and weather systems were changing, Global Warming was a reality and one could not be in denial anymore about the impact of changing the climate, the Vice president wanted engineers and technocrats like you to champion the cause of clean energy.
He said that a balance between environment and development can be achieved through good technology.
“It is essential that we strike that balance. Our development has to be sustainable. Let conservation be the cornerstone of every single one of your innovations,” he added.
The Vice president sought technological innovations and interventions to reduce the gap between urban and rural areas. He suggested young engineers find solutions for sustainable housing, drinking water, mass mobility and provide economic opportunities to bridge the huge income gaps in cities.
While expressing concern over the reports about young students resorting to extreme measures because of the inability to handle stress and cope with challenges, the Vice President said that campuses must be the safest spaces in our nation. He urged all higher educational institutions to take extra care to teach our youngsters to manage stress and promote physical fitness to make them healthy.
During the event, the Vice President recollected his tenure as the Union Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs when he took part in the foundation laying ceremony of NIT in 2015.