The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, graced and addressed theseventh convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabadtoday (August 5, 2018) in Hyderabad.Speaking on the occasion, the President said that as a second generation IIT it is important that IIT Hyderabad borrow from as well as learn from the models of the past. Conditions are different from the 1950s and 1960s. India has changed. Technology and the very discipline of engineering have evolved. Our aspirations are no longer limited to the heavy industrial base that we created six decades ago. Rather, IIT Hyderabad has to remain relevant to the fourth industrial revolution that will write the script of the 21st century. He was happy to note that a start has been made by setting up a network of centres for research and promotion of entrepreneurship at this Institute.The President said that the best scientific universities and institutions of learning are not just teaching shops or degree factories. Increasingly they are sources of innovation and incubators of technology and technology-driven start-ups. The knowledge ecosystem of public investments in science, academic institutions and universities, research laboratories, commercial applications and private enterprise has an almost magical potential. Its best example is, of course, Silicon Valley in the United States.
At the core of Silicon Valley are basic science and technology campuses and their talented faculty and students.The President said that IIT Hyderabad has been set up in a city and in a metropolitan area where several elements for such an ecosystem already exist. Hyderabad has a long tradition of scientific discovery and application. He noted that in Hyderabad there are as many as 19 research facilities and laboratories of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Biotechnology, the Department of Atomic Energy, the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Indian Space Research Organisation.The President said that individually, many of these entities are doing excellent work. But there is need for cross-pollination. IIT Hyderabad is not envisaged as just an add-on to this ecosystem. Rather, it needs to be the hub of this ecosystem. It must be the connecting tissue and the catalyst for a greater synergy. He urged IIT Hyderabad to break out of silos and to encourage others to break out of silos. He said that India will judge success of IIT Hyderabad by the vitality and the output it can ensure for not just itself but for the entire Hyderabad knowledge ecosystem.