The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu today called upon the young engineers to use innovation and technological advancements for the betterment of life of the common man.Describing innovation as the watchword for 21st Century, the Vice President asked institutions such as IITs and NITs to transform themselves into hubs of innovation. He suggested them to evolve their curricula and teaching methods constantly to suit the times and strive to bring out the best in each student.Addressing the first Convocation of National Institute of Technology, Tadepalligudem in Andhra Pradesh today, he said that it was time for young engineers to come up with out-of-box solutions to various problems, including those faced by farmers from climate change.Calling for collective efforts to double the farmers’ income and ensure profitability of agriculture, the Vice President asked scientists and engineers to create better weather prediction systems and explore ways and means to make agriculture more resilient.Stating that boosting India’s food production to overcome the problem of malnutrition, Shri Naidu asserted that imported food security was never a solution.Observing that climate patterns and weather systems were changing, he said global warming was a reality and one could not be in denial anymore about the impact of changing the climate.
The Vice President wanted engineers and technocrats to champion the cause of clean energy. He said that a balance between environment and development can be achieved through good technology. “It is essential that we strike that balance. Our development has to be sustainable. Let conservation be the cornerstone of every single one of your innovations,” he added.Shri Naidu also stressed the need for technological innovations and interventions to reduce the gap between urban and rural India.Stressing that development has to reach all sections of society, he called for special focus on creating urban amenities in rural areas.Referring to Mahatma Gandhi’s call to develop villages as self sufficient entities, he called for creation of facilities such as schools, hospitals, libraries and skill development centers to empower rural women and youth.Expressing concerns over reports of young students resorting to extreme steps due to stress, the Vice President said that campuses must be the safest spaces in our nation and urged all higher educational institutions to take extra care to teach youngsters how to manage stress.He wanted technical education institutions such as NITs to nurture life skills and instill moral values in students. He said that every graduate passing out of the portals of such institutions must not only be academically proficient but must also be ethical, compassionate and honest.During the event, the Vice President recollected his tenure as the Union Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs when he took part in the foundation laying ceremony of NIT Andhra Pradesh in 2015.The Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, the Minister for Housing, Govt of AP, Shri Ranganadha Raju, the Minister for Women & Child Welfare, AP, Smt. Taneti Vanita, the Director, NIT Andhra Pradesh, Prof. C.S.P. Rao, Registrar, NIT Andhra Pradesh, Prof. G. Amba Prasad Rao, and others were present at the event.