The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, graced and addressed the 51st annual convocation of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur as Chief Guest today (June 28, 2018) in Kanpur.Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the evolution of IIT Kanpur has mirrored scientific and technological education in independent India. The IIT Kanpur model forms the core of the engineering curriculum in premier institutions of the country. Way back in 1963, IIT Kanpur was a pioneer in offering programmes in computer science. This anticipated the IT revolution in the country by a good three decades. Such achievements have been possible due to the commitment and dedication of several generations of faculty members and students.Addressing the graduating students, the President said that today’s India offers unprecedented hope and avenues. Their professional future may well lie in aerospace engineering, Artificial Intelligence, biomedical research, energy storage, smart grids, renewable energy, financial mathematics, precision manufacture or so many other fields. Our fast-growing economy offers them huge scope. With their talent, education and IIT degree, each of them can be a game changer for India.
The President said that to improve the quality of life of our fellow citizens, the Government of India has undertaken many initiatives. Among others these include the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation or AMRUT, the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna, Digital India, Make in India, Start-up India, and the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Technology can be a force multiplier for all these programmes. He urged the students to contribute to such national missions.The President said that in the 20th century, Kanpur was one of the earliest industrial townships in our country and its textile mills won it the nickname “Manchester of the East”. In the age of the digital economy and of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is important to upgrade and re-imagine Kanpur as an industrial and commercial hub. The city is also critical to the success of Namami Gange. This is a programme to not merely de-pollute the Ganga and conserve it from industrial effluents. It goes further. It seeks to rationalise the allocation and usage of the river’s waters as well as to develop the Ganga basin.
The President said that all of these are shared tasks. Governments and citizens, industry and academia – a variety of stakeholders will play a role. IIT Kanpur too must be part of the mix. It is necessary for scientific and research institutions such as IIT Kanpur to assume a larger responsibility in programme design, monitoring and implementation strategies for the renewal of Kanpur.Later in the day, the President met the students of ‘CSRL (Centre for Social Responsibility and Leadership) Super -30 [GAIL Utkarsh] who have qualified IIT, NIT etc. at IIT Kanpur.Addressing the young students, the President congratulated them for their success in JEE (Advanced) examination. He expressed confidence that they will achieve their future goals with the same determination with which they have achieved this success. He also appreciated GAIL and CSRL for their initiative.