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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 07.11.2013

The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a Conference of Directors of National Institutes of Technology at the Rashtapati Bhavan today (7th November, 2013). This is for the first time that such a Conference is being convened by the President, who is Visitor to all NITs.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that India’s biggest strength in the coming years is going to be her demographic dividend. More than fifty percent of our population is under 25 and soon one fifth of the world’s working age population will be in our country. This dividend is however something we can not take for granted. We must urgently equip our youth with necessary skills and jobs.

The President stated that the Government is investing huge amount of resources in higher education. The effort to increase ‘quantity’ exponentially must be matched with commensurate efforts to improve ‘quality’. We must lead our institutions into the ranks of the best such institutions in the world.

The President said that the Conference was being held just two days after India attained a very significant milestone in the field of space exploration through the launch of the Mangalaayan Mission. He stated that our space scientists and engineers have repeatedly demonstrated that given determination, leadership, hard work and resources, India is fully capable of attaining global excellence in fields of frontier technology. The example set by the ISRO can be emulated in a large number of other sectors in our country.

The President said that engineers play a very important role in every walk of life. They convert knowledge of basic sciences into products. They are versatile minds who build bridges between sciences, technology and society. They contribute to the nation’s technological and industrial progress. Our IITs and NITs play an important role by nurturing world class engineers who are not only professionally competent but also committed to mastering frontier areas of technology, improving the quality of life of our countrymen and taking our nation to new heights of achievement.

The President expressed the hope that NITs of India will play a central role in leading the drive for quality engineering education across the country. He said that NITs must evolve clear strategies to encourage research and development, which then leads on to innovation and patents. Engineering institutions like NITs must work towards making the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy a success. They must mentor grassroots innovators to develop their ideas into useful products that benefit the common man.

This release issued at 1415 hrs