Students should not be afraid of failures as all discoveries stem from what did not work, said Gagandeep Kang, a professor of Christian Medical College, Vellore.
Kang, who addressed the 56th convocation of ISI Kolkata virtually, said this constituted the key to success.
Kang, a vaccine science expert, used the study of data amid the pandemic to drive the point home.
“In 2008, Google had proposed big data in action – Google Flu Trend (GFT). The programme was designed for the real time monitoring of Flu cases around the world….GFT failed and was withdrawn . But new approaches to real time monitoring during the pandemic have come from other big data sources such as mobile phones and mobility. All new discoveries in technology require iteration and learning from what did not work,” Kang said in her virtual address. “These valuable insights can only come from failures.”
According to her this approach is a must though the society expects people to succeed, recognizes success and looks down on failure.
She said that the future of the pandemic and resilience to it deeply depends on scenario planning.
“For example, during the Delta wave my most important piece of advice to families and friends was to plan… where was the nearest hospital, nearest pharmacy, was there transport, a doctor’s phone number, a friend to call to look after children at home. This kind of preparedness allows us to function without paralysis and build capabilities,” said Gagandeep Kang.
Bibek Debroy, the president of the Indian Statistical Institute, who was the chief guest at the convocation, said graduating students are stepping into a world of uncertainty and they have to employ the lessons imparted during their stint at the ISI to deal with this uncertainty.
“We were just about recovering from it, when we have been confronted with an additional uncertainty because of the geopolitical tensions.... You are stepping into a world that is even more uncertain today…,” Debroy said virtually.
ISI Kolkata director Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay told the graduating students -- 387 of them were conferred degrees on Wednesday -- that although the times are challenging, they must not give up.