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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 29.11.2014

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a two day Conference of Directors of National Institutes of Technology (NITs) at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (October 29, 2014). This is the second Conference of Directors of NITs during the present Presidency and is part of the regular, focused interaction the President has been having with Central Universities, IITs and IISERs in his capacity as Visitor to these institutions.

Speaking on the occasion, the President called upon all NITs to deepen and broad-base their involvement with society. He said their work must find resonance with the needs and aspirations of our people. On the model of the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana launched by the Prime Minister recently, NITs should adopt at least one village each and transform them into model villages worthy of replication across the country. They must source, if required, experts from other Central institutions to provide solutions to the wide mosaic of issues that such a transformation to model villages will entail.

The President asked NITs be at the forefront of bridging the digital divide, income asymmetries and rural-urban differentiation in the country, especially, in view of the ‘Make in India’ and the ‘Digital India’ initiatives unveiled by the Government. He said NITs can and need to be the connecting force between rural innovations, local employment and world class manufacturing.

The President congratulated NITs for their contributions to research and innovation. He said given the right environment our scientists and technologists are second to none in the world. He stated that NITs have emerged as front runners in imparting quality scientific and technical education in India. The need now is for the NITs to undertake a synergetic collaboration with similar institutions in the country and abroad as also forge greater horizontal linkages with them at multiple levels of contact.

The President said economic growth and educational progress share a symbiotic relationship. Our engineers and scientists are vital to the process of national development. In today’s context, urbanization, water supply, sanitation, environment protection, efficiency in delivery of healthcare and education call for innovative solutions. Our engineers and scientists must be equipped to address new-age problems with new-age answers. Technical institutions like NITs should nurture world-class, professionally-competent engineers who will not only take India to new heights in technology but also improve the quality of life of our countrymen.

The President said Directors of the NITs must provide bold, innovative and inspiring leadership. Every NIT must institutionalize quality assurance and sustenance measures in all academic and administrative processes. The key areas of focus have to be engagement of quality faculty, innovation and research, excellence in teaching, industry linkages and social responsibility. NITs must aim to attract the best engineering talent in the country and transform them into outstanding engineers, researchers, scientists and teachers. The President asked NITs to also continue to engage with alumni so as to enable their full contribution to the growth, vibrancy and dynamism of their alma maters.

Pointing out that most of central institutions in the country are facing acute shortage of faculty at all levels, the President said in his recent visit to Norway and Finland, he had called upon the scientists, researchers and academics amongst Indian diaspora to become a part of Indian campuses, either on a full time or a part time basis, as regular, visiting or adjunct faculty. He expected the Ministry of HRD, in consultation with higher educational institutions, to create an enabling environment for such movements to take place.

This release issued at 1210 hrs.