Innovate or stagnate, says PM; praises IITs
Mumbai : PM Modi on Saturday pitched for improving the quality of education in institutions like IITs and invited suggestions from teachers and intellectuals in this regard. He also stressed on the need for innovation, saying societies that do not innovate, stagnate. Addressing the 56th annual convocation of IIT-Bombay, he announced a financial aid of Rs 1,000 crore for the institute, saying that six decades of “constant trying” had made it an institute of eminence.
He said seven lakh engineers pass out of the country’s educational campuses and a collective effort was required to ensure that they get high quality of education and acquire the necessary skills. “I appeal to teachers and intellectuals present here that they should think about how quality can be improved and come up with suggestions. It is our responsibility to ensure that not only quantity but quality too is of high level. The government is also actively taking steps for this,” Modi said.
Heaping praise on IIT-B, Modi said, “It is due to last six decades of constant trying that IIT-B has made its place as one of the country’s eminent institutes. You will be receiving a financial aid of Rs 1,000 crore which will help in the development of infrastructure.” The prime minister said several students who have graduated from the institute are actively participating in the country’s development.
Modi said that in the last four years, seven IITs, seven Indian Institute of Management (IIMs), two Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) and 11 Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIITs) have been approved. “In order to improve infrastructure, Revitalisation of Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) programme has been initiated.
In accordance with this programme, a target of accumulating Rs 1 lakh crore has been set.
“New institutes, new infrastructure is necessary, but more important is the skilled power generated from these. The government is also focusing on this,” he said. The PM further said the foundation of India’s developed economy was being laid through innovation and industries which will lead to sustainable long-term financial growth based on technology.
“Innovation and enterprise are going to be the foundation stones for making India a developed economy. Start Up India and the Atal Innovation Mission launched by the Centre have resulted in India becoming the world’s second largest ecosystem for technology,” the prime minister said. In the coming two decades, innovation and new technology will decide the trajectory of growth in the world and the role of IITs in this will be very important, he said.
“Be it 5G broadband technology, artificial intelligence, block chain technology or machine learning, these are techniques that will play an important role in the vision of smart cities,” Modi said.
Maharashtra governor Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar were present at the event. After his 32-minute address, Modi inaugurated the buildings of the Energy Science and Engineering as well as Environmental Science and Engineering departments on the IIT-B campus. He also visited the technological exhibition developed by IIT-B and praised the innovative instruments and research undertaken by the students. A total of 2,621 students were conferred with Bachelors degrees while 380 students were awarded Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees.
Twenty-nine students, who did their research under the Doctor of Philosophy research programme jointly undertaken by IIT-B and Monash University, received their degrees at the hands of Monash University President Margaret Gardner.