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Tech talk to improve education

Cuttack, Aug. 23: Jawaharlal Nehru University chancellor Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan today said new technologies should be explored to improve quality of education that is facing a serious challenge in the country.

Addressing the seventh annual convocation of Ravenshaw University, Kasturirangan stressed on the need for inclusion of more modern tools, including online learning and various other innovative collaborative models, of imparting education.

Kasturirangan, former director of the Indian Space and Research Organisation (Isro), also expressed concern over various socio-economic changes and advocated increase in innovation capacities to compete with the rest of the world.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden Independence Day speech for an open invitation to the world to make India a manufacturing hub, Kasturirangan said every individual and institute should positively respond to make India strong economically.

“The youth needs to explore the opportunities and try to come up with new innovations rather to follow or copy others. Besides, the youth should try and learn to work collectively as a team to achieve goals — which was the case with Isro, which took every setback and failure as a stepping stone for success,” said Kasturirangan.

The former Isro chief said that by believing in its own capabilities, innovative bend of mind of its young scientists and engineers and with team work the organisation could come up with a complex multidisciplinary system such as a launch vehicle GSLV.

The successful launch of India’s first unmanned mission to the Moon, the Chandrayaan-1, in 2008 and subsequent mission to Mars exemplify the competence and extensive use of cutting edge technology by India.

“There should be an environment where multidisciplinary ecosystem consisting of diverse branches of learning, including sciences, technology, management, law, culture and social sciences, will be suitable for cross fertilisation of ideas,” Kasturirangan said.

Ravenshaw University also conferred honoris causa on Justice Anang Patnaik, Dr Pratibha Ray, social activist Tulasi Munda, Ramakant Rath, sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, Girija Nandan Mahapatra and Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan on the occasion.

Gold medals were awarded to 106 students of 2013 and 2014 batch and 24 PhD degree holders by chancellor S.C. Jamir during the convocation ceremony today.

“A total of 2,657 students of 2013 and 2,619 students of 2014 batch have graduated from the university, which is trying extensively to promote research,” said vice-chancellor B.C. Tripathy.

Tripathy said the varsity was trying to explore new areas of research and more than 50 faculty members had been recruited in the past one-and-a-half years, while another 100 faculty members would be recruited shortly to strengthen teaching and research capability of the institute.