Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh, an IIT Kharagpur alumnus, said: “India needs leaders in science, technology, engineering and even in politics.”
Q: What is the most recognised “acronym” from India?
The PanIIT Global Conference 2012, with its central focus on nation-building, opened on a fitting note with governor M.K. Narayanan speaking about an emerging India and and thanking IIT — “the most recognised acronym from India” — for putting the country on the world map.
The chief guest at the inaugural session of the three-day event organised by the Pan IIT Alumni, and partnered by The Telegraph, spoke about the changing global perspective about India.
“We need to look at the positive side. Our growth may be lower than China but India has maintained a steady growth rate of seven to eight percent for most of the past decade….,” said Narayanan.
He then pointed out areas in which India needs to improve to move ahead, including opening up the economy and improving infrastructure, the issue of food security and employment generation.
“Several steps have been taken but we perhaps need to step up the pace. We need to give greater impetus to technological and other innovations to give our economy the necessary boost,” he said.
To meet many of the long-term challenges India is “continuously attempting to strengthen its capabilities and “India’s immense potential cannot and will not be denied,” said Narayanan.
His message to the IITians? Institute a world-class scholarship, on the lines of Rhodes, to ensure the continuation of their legacy.
Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh, who shared the dais with the governor, said: “India needs leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and even in politics. We need educated people to take responsibilities.”
The IIT Kharagpur alumnus said more institutions like IIT are needed to provide opportunities to the younger generations and applauded the PanIIT’s nation-building initiatives.
“The challenge in education is to ensure that quantitative expansion fosters qualitative growth as well,” said Singh, pointing out India’s less-than-adequate emphasis on research and development.
Sandipan Chakravortty, chairman, steering committee, spoke about PanIIT’s networking function, while Himangshu Vaish, chairman, PanIIT Alumni India, appealed to all IITians to join nation-building initiatives. “IITians are the country’s greatest assets and we hope that by the end of the three days you will get fired up to get more involved,” said Vaish.
Aniruddha Lahiri, chairman, sponsorship committee, delivered the vote of thanks.