Explore affordable, sustainable options to improve quality of life of citizens: Vice President

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has asked engineers and technologists to ensure that the new technologies are used to improve the living conditions of the common man, farmers, women and each citizen in our country. He was addressing the gathering after launching two-year celebrations under the aegis of “Beyond Twenty by 2020” campaign, marking the 20th anniversary of the Indian Institute of Information Technology, in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh today. The Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Ram Naik, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that Science and Technology must make people’s lives better. He stressed the need to enhance access to services like education, quality health care, timely, authentic and relevant information, access to government services and e-governance initiatives. He further said that significant portion of our citizens still do not have easy access to essential resources. Relentless pursuit is needed to improve the quality of life of people living in the marginalized sections of society, he added.

To achieve this, the Vice President suggested taking a fresh approach and finding solutions that are solutions that are affordable, accessible, intelligible, sustainable and scalable. Our traditional approach to alleviating these problems simply does not work and we need to think afresh, he added.  

The Vice President said that it is vital that young innovators of this institution and surrounding regions gets all the resources required for successful translation of their ideas into products and solutions. This will certainly contribute to the growing economy of this nation and accelerate the growth process considerably, he added. 

Highlighting the need to keep environmental and social considerations while designing or planning, he reminded the future engineers that the present world cannot afford the luxury of unlimited resources. He stressed on the need to adopt a growth model that cares for the environment as well as the economic prosperity of the people.

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

“I am delighted to be here at the commencement of two-years of celebratory events under the aegis of “Beyond Twenty by 2020” campaign, marking the 20th anniversary of the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad.

Driven by the Computer Policy of 1984, Electronic Policy of 1985 and catalyzed by the Software Policy of 1986, our nation moved steadily towards computerization and use of Information Technology.

In order to be prepared for the IT driven economy, the country established specialized institutions that focused on I.T.

I am very pleased to see that one of the first such institutions, the Indian Institute of Information Technology Allahabad, has performed very well. As we have heard from Shri Ravi Kant and Prof. Nagabhushan, this institution has made rapid strides in the recent past.

It may come as a surprise to some of you, but the first prototype of the modern Software park in this country was established in Mumbai way back in 1973! At that time, Information Technology was relatively unheard of. Today our country is among the largest exporters of IT services in the world. IT Sector’s contribution to India’s GDP has grown from 1.2% in 1998 to 7.7% in 2017. Clearly, this would not have been made possible without the structured partnership of the industry and the education sector. However, the real drivers of this revolution are the bright minds of the remarkable engineers that this nation has produced.

The global landscape is changing fast. So also is the educational system. A number of curricular and pedagogical innovations are taking shape across the nation. Students are learning by doing, by experimenting and finding solutions to contemporary problems. Students are focusing on multidisciplinary application of knowledge. New domains are emerging such as Big-Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.

It is indeed a pleasure to see the changes here in your Institute, I am please to inaugurate the Central Computing Facility here at the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad and dedicate it to the nation. I am informed that this state-of-the-art facility houses a high-performance computing cluster coupled with a Big Data facility along with Cloud Computing resources as well. It is also quite impressive that apart from being one of the very few of its kind in the country, this is the very first large-scale high-performance computing setup among all the IIITs in the country.

In the same vein, IIIT-Allahabad’s adoption of a new academic evaluation system that offers enhanced choices and a flexible academic tenure to its students, is certainly a step in the right direction.

Quite akin to a meandering river, an ideal academic environment should afford its students a menu of choices so that they identify the areas of their interest and realize their creative potential to the fullest extent.

The bedrock of any society is its relentless pursuit of an improved quality of life. A significant portion of our citizens still do not have easy access to essential resources.  We need to enhance access to services like education, quality health care, timely, authentic and relevant information, access to government services and e-governance initiatives.

It is also now clear, that our traditional approach to alleviating these problems simply does not work.

We need to think afresh. 

We must search for solutions that are affordable, accessible, intelligible, sustainable and scalable.

Technology provides tools for achieving many goals as per these parameters. We must fully harness this potential.

We need products and technologies that are indigenous, low cost, rapidly deployable, robust and resilient to disruptions.

I am confident that my audience here will agree that we require a new approach characterized by an agile and constantly innovating mindset.

The global experience points to a need to establish a dynamic ecosystem that supports and nurtures creativity and collaborative enquiry.

I am particularly delighted today that IIIT-Allahabad is taking a major step towards this end and is committed to setting up a dedicated Innovation and Incubation complex.

It is vital that young innovators of this institution and surrounding regions gets all the resources required for successful translation of their ideas into products and solutions. This will certainly contribute to the growing economy of this nation and accelerate the growth process considerably.

I am confident that startups incubated in the premises will make us all proud through their innovations.

Dear Students,

We must never be complacent and be satisfied with what we have achieved. Innovation requires constant churning of ideas and creative, out-of-box thinking to develop unique products. I am sure you will continue your quest for excellence in the years to come.

It gives me great comfort that this institution is very clear in its long-term objectives – as enumerated in the Vision document being released today. The document is a testimony to the ambitious agenda you all have set for yourself.

I compliment you on your dreams and hope you will put in adequate efforts to achieve them.

Your plans to develop and strengthen symbiotic partnerships with captains of the Industry and education leaders across the globe, faculty development program and other similar initiatives are quite promising.

However, I would like to suggest that your growth must be tempered with environmental and social considerations. We exist in a world that no longer affords us the luxury of unlimited resources. We should adopt a growth model that cares for the environment as well as the economic prosperity of the people. 

I am happy that this institution has already adopted certain measures to lower its carbon footprint. I hope that each resident of this campus takes this further by adopting individual measures towards the “Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan” and contributes to our planet’s sustainable future. 

I would like to mention to my young friends here today that we are now living in exciting times when India is emerging as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. We are also as a nation among the frontrunners in information technology.

Dear students,

In the coming years, digital technology will be playing an important role in accelerating economic growth.

My advice to all of you is to ensure that the new technologies are used to improve the living conditions of the common man, farmers, women and each citizen in our country.

I am optimistic that the students, scholars and faculty members of this relatively young institution will shape this institution as a trend setter and a pace setter in the next wave of technological change. 

I do hope you will keep the societal needs and the cultural context in view so that what you do will be of great value to society. We need to bring in a transformation in the country in many domains.  You, as technological experts, can usher in this change.

I wish the Indian Institute of Information Technology – Allahabad, the very best in its future endeavors. 

Jai Hind!”

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AKT/BK/MS/RK

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