The Indian Institutes of Technology have been the pride of the nation, said the President of India, Droupadi Murmu. She was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of IIT Delhi in New Delhi today.
“India has a great talent pool which is yet to be fully tapped. We need to make our institutes future ready with new teaching and learning metrics, pedagogy, and content,” she said.
The President said that the IITs helped India prove to the world the capability of India in the domains of education and technology. In multiple ways, the story of the IITs is the story of Independent India.
Faculty and alumni of IITs have shown the world what India’s brainpower can do. Students who studied in IITs are now at the forefront of the digital revolution sweeping the world. The impact of IITs has gone beyond science and technology. “IITians are leaders in every walk of life – in education, industry, entrepreneurship, civil society, activism, journalism, literature, and politics,” she said.
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As one of the original IITs, IIT Delhi is a mentor to some of the recent members of the club – IIT Ropar and IIT Jammu. IIT Delhi has contributed significantly to building up the image of the IITs as centres of excellence across the world, she said.
IIT Delhi has always seen itself as part of the larger community and it has been extra sensitive to its responsibility toward society. She shared that the latest example of IIT’s social concern was seen during the initial phase of the pandemic. Rising to the challenge of containing the virus, IIT Delhi came up with some important research and development projects. It even designed and developed rapid antigen test kits, PPEs, antimicrobial fabrics, high-efficiency face masks, and low-cost ventilators. ” The IIT Delhi’s contribution in India’s fight against the Coronavirus has been a model of how engineering and technology institutions too can play a role in a public health crisis,” she added.
The President of India said that by 2047 when we will celebrate 100 years of Independence, the world around would have changed drastically, all because of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Just like 25 years ago we never imagined the contemporary world, we cannot visualise today how Artificial Intelligence and automation are going to transform life. ” With our high population numbers, we need to have foresight and strategies in place to deal with the forces of future where disruptions will be a new normal. The nature of employment will get completely changed,” she said.
She added ” If we take steps to protect ourselves from vagaries of the future, we can reap rich demographic dividends. We need to make our institutes adaptable to the future. This will require a new teaching-learning matrix,
pedagogy, and content that are future-oriented. I am sure that with our famed IITs, we will be able to nurture the younger generation with the necessary knowledge base and the right skills to face the challenge. India will benefit immensely from the next wave of the technological revolution,”
Pointing out that climate change poses a serious challenge, she said that as a developing country with a high population base, India’s energy requirement for economic growth is very high. The President added that we need to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy and in the years to come, as the world anxiously looks for technological solutions to environmental challenges, she believes India’s young engineers and scientists will help humankind achieve a breakthrough.
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