Rashtrapati Bhavan hosted the conference of Directors of IITs, NITs and IIEST, Shibpur today (November 19, 2019). Apart from the Directors of 23 IITs, 31 NITs and IIEST, Shibpur, it was attended by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Secretary (Higher Education), Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and Chairman AICTE.
Speaking at the concluding session, the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, said this is that time of the year when the air quality of the national capital as well as of many other cities worsens beyond all norms. We are facing a kind of challenge here that we have never faced before. Hydrocarbon energy changed the face of the world in the last couple of centuries, but now it is threatening our very existence. The challenge is compounded for nations battling to bring substantial sections of populations out of poverty. Yet, we will have to find alternatives.
The President said that many scientists and futurologists have painted doomsday scenarios. On days of smog and poor visibility in our cities, we fear the future might already be here. He expressed confidence that institutions like IITs, NITs with their various specialisations, would take care to create a sensitivity and awareness among students and researchers towards our common future.
The President said that our government has made focused efforts to improve India’s ranking on the Ease of Doing Business Index, and now it aims to improve the Ease of Living for all citizens. From the technology perspective, he expressed confidence that institutions like IITs, NITs can make the most crucial contribution to Ease of Living for all citizens. He said that improving urban infrastructure, making water supply systems efficient, making healthcare delivery more effective – there are countless ways technology can make dramatic difference in the life of an average Indian.
This Conference is part of regular interactions of the President with such institutions in his capacity as visitor to 152 Central Universities and institutions of higher learning.