Addressing the 22nd convocation of IIT Guwahati on 22 September, 2020 PM Shri Narendra Modi said, “ज्ञानम् विज्ञान सहितम् यत् ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसे अशुभात्”; that is, knowledge, including science, is the means to get rid of all the problems and sufferings. This spirit, this energy to do something new for serving people has kept our country alive in this millennium-old journey. We are proud that our institutions like IITs are taking this idea forward today.
He said, “You all must be feeling that after coming here how much you have transformed; how much has your thinking process expanded! When you started your journey in IIT Guwahati, since then, you would have been seeing a new personality within you. This is the most valuable gift of your professors to this institution”.
The PM said, “I believe clearly and firmly that the future of a nation depends upon what its youth are thinking today. Your dreams are going to shape the reality of India. Therefore, this is the time to be ready for the future; this is the time to be fit for the future. As the economy and society is changing today, bringing modernity, the Indian science and technology landscape also needs to make many important changes. I am glad that IIT Guwahati has already started with these efforts. PM Shri Modi said,”You are well aware of the great significance of our education system for a self-reliant India. In the past, you must have read and discussed a lot about the National Education Policy.
National Education Policy is only for our 21st century youth like you; the youth who will lead the world and will make India a global leader in science and technology. Moreover, there are many such things included in this education policy which have been at the top of the wish list of students like you”.
The National Education Technology Forum is also being formed so that the role of technology increases from Teaching and learning to administration and assessment. We are moving towards an eco-system where our youth will learn from technology and will also innovate new technology to teach. There are infinite possibilities for IIT friends. You have to think about new software, new devices and gadgets that will revolutionize the process of education. This is an opportunity for all of you; bring out your best and utilize it, the PM added.
PM said, “A National Research Foundation i.e. NRF has also been proposed in the NEP to enrich the research culture in our country. NRF will coordinate with all funding agencies regarding research funding and provide funds for all disciplines, be it science or humanities. The potential research which will have the scope for practical implementation will be recognized and implemented. For this, coordination and close linkage will be established between government agencies and industry. I am delighted to inform you that today around 300 of our young fellows are being awarded PhD in this convocation, and this is a very positive trend. I believe that all of you will not stop here; rather research will become a habit for you and will remain a part of your thought process”.
He said we all know that there are no boundaries for knowledge. The National Education Policy talks of opening up the education sector of the country. The aim is to make sure that the campuses of foreign universities also are set up in the country and our students get global exposure here. Similarly, research collaboration and student exchange programmes between Indian and global institutions will also be promoted.
He said this region is also a gateway to India’s connectivity and relations with South East Asia; the mainstay of India’s relations with these countries has been Culture, Commerce, Connectivity and Capacity. Now education is going to be another new medium of our engagement. IIT Guwahati can become a major centre for the same. This will also give the North East a new identity, and new opportunities will also be created here. Today, the infrastructure related to railways, highways, airways, and waterways are being built here to give impetus to the development of the Northeast. This is creating new opportunities for the entire Northeast. IIT Guwahati also has a major role in these developmental works.
He said this region also possesses rich bio-diversity and immense traditional knowledge & skills! The transmission of this traditional skill, knowledge, and even of science and technology has been through traditional routes. One generation transferred the knowledge to the next generation and this trend has been going on. Can we link it with modern technology? Can we create new technology with this fusion? I believe that through a modern and scientific process, we can develop cultural knowledge, skills and beliefs into rich and cutting edge professional development programmes. I suggest that IIT Guwahati must play a pivotal role in it, and set up a Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems. Through this, we can contribute a lot to the Northeast, the country and the world, which will be invaluable.
Shri Modi said Assam and Northeast in general is a region in the country which is full of possibilities. But the region is plagued with problems like floods, earthquakes, landslides and many industrial disasters. Energy and efforts of these states are spent in dealing with these disasters. To deal with these problems effectively, a high degree of technological support and intervention is required. I will also request IIT Guwahati to establish a Centre for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction. This centre will also provide expertise in dealing with the disasters in this region, and will also turn disasters into opportunities. I am confident that IIT Guwahati and all the IIT students will move forward and this resolve will also be proved. Friends, apart from focusing on local issues, we also have to set our eyes on the bigger canvas of global technologies. For example, can we find out the niche areas in our research and technology? Can we identify and prioritize such areas, subjects on which the country needs to focus more?
Among others Union Minister of Education Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank Ji, Chief Minister of Assam Shri Sarbananda Sonwal, Minister of State for Education Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Chairman of the Board of Governors, Members of the Senate, faculty members, staff and Students were present.