Prof. S. Sundar, Chairman, Board of Governors
National Institute of Technology Mizoram
Members of the Board of Governors
Members of the Senate
The Registrar, faculty and staff of NIT Mizoram
My dear students
It is an honour to be the Chief Guest at the 6th Convocation of National Institute of Technology Mizoram. I am especially happy to be here today, as I am also from the engineering background. The NITs, being reputed educational institutions, are a source of immense pride for the country. You are extremely fortunate and privileged to have graduated from here. With the world having been dramatically transformed since you started four years ago, an exciting future awaits you.
In today’s world, a person without knowledge quickly becomes obsolete. Here at NIT Mizoram, you have been engaged in the pursuit of the latest knowledge. As you know, the Indian civilization is an ancient one. We had universities like Nalanda and Taxila, which were international centres of educational excellence.
Throughout the millennia, the Indian people have accumulated a rich heritage of traditional knowledge.
I encourage the graduating students to use both modern and traditional knowledge to arrive at innovative solutions to alleviate our pressing societal challenges. Our country can achieve development only through the outstanding contributions of an intelligent, qualified and professionally committed work force. You must look for opportunities in the face of challenges within a resource limited environment.
As we all know, the world witnessed a massive COVID pandemic. We experienced different variants of the virus, lockdowns, stiff travel rules, curfews, masks, social distancing, and many other challenges. Education was also carried out online from home, and not from the campus. In the midst of great difficulty, our country found success especially in our vaccination drive. I am sure that we are all proud and thankful. While some teams developed vaccines, others delivered them to the remotest corners. Our vaccines were also sufficiently effective.
Our collective efforts showcased the ingenuity and resilience of the Indian population. Our beloved former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam said, “When learning is purposeful, creativity blossoms. When creativity blossoms, thinking emanates. When thinking emanates, knowledge is fully lit. When knowledge is lit, economy flourishes.”
Graduation is a time of celebration, and marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. It is a proud moment for the graduates, parents and teachers. You have worked hard with focus, determination and discipline. Your teachers have done their utmost to help you perform your best. And your parents have made many sacrifices to provide you with the enabling environment.
It is not enough to simply try and get by in life. You must strive to excel in everything you do. The decisions you make starting today will determine what you become. Your academic journey is not over yet, and you must be clear on the end result and how you wish to get there. You will face many challenges, but this is what the ‘real world’ is all about. The next phase in your life is a great training ground for your future success.
You must think big, and dream about endless opportunities. You must broaden your horizon and explore different cultures, values, attitudes and knowledge. Engage in sports, cultural and other activities. Maintain your health, and look for balance in all aspects.
We all must have goals, and it is natural to be afraid of failure. But it is how we handle our fears that determines whether or not and how quickly we succeed. Not every project or task we undertake can be successful. When things are not successful, learn from your mistakes, and take the necessary remedial measures on the next project.
The world you are entering as a graduate today has changed, and continues to change, at an incredibly rapid pace. The 21st century landscape is very much a global world, driven by a data economy. Over the last several decades, the industrial age has given way to the information age. And that change has connected the world across borders of all kinds.
Knowledge and information are the common languages that connect us across disciplines and industries, and across national borders and cultural boundaries. At the same time, this globally networked world has led to an explosion of information. This comes with great challenges as well as tremendous opportunities for you, as the future leaders of business, industry, and the academy.
There is an unprecedented amount of knowledge, information, and data at our fingertips. With the rise of mobile networks and social media, this explosion of big data is just getting started. We must enhance our intellectual resources to keep pace with this information explosion. We need to hone our intellectual capacity to make informed decisions about this flood of data, and to harness it effectively.
As NIT graduates who are about to embark on your journey in life, I advise you to always be grateful. You are amongst the best in the country. Going forward, I am sure you are going to shine. Continue to be grateful to your teachers, your parents, your families, and your friends. You must also be responsible. Be honest in your duties, and do not waste your talents and education. If possible, you must attempt to make important and lasting contributions for the society.
Importantly, you must remain continuously curious. Childlike curiosity will help you to constantly grow and improve your knowledge. Continue to explore the opportunities that life offers you. Being hungry for knowledge is very important. Continue to acquire new skills. The greatest benefit of your education lies not only in what you have already learnt, but in knowing how to keep on learning more and more. Formal education is just the beginning in you quest for knowledge.
Data science is increasingly playing a critical role as a research tool. For example, in astronomy, it is helping to identify new stars and galaxies. In materials science, the field of Big Data analytics is helping to design new materials that are transforming how people live and work around the world. We need knowledgeable leaders and educated experts like you to help business and industry process information for practical use.
You are also aware that the challenges that the country is facing are different from what it was a few years ago. No country in the world can remain globally isolated today. India, with its economic power, has to play a major role in the global growth agenda. In doing so, embracing new technologies, being ready to take on new trade opportunities, building producer companies, cooperatives and institutions which can become globally competitive, are all necessary. It is in this context that we need aspiring and enthusiastic youngsters like you.
Hon’ble Prime Minister had spoken about our target of becoming a 5 trillion US Dollar economy. As NIT graduates, you have great expertise and are best equipped to help the country achieve this objective. I strongly urge you to set up startups for the expansion of our economy, and I truly believe that you have the potential to develop these startups to even become unicorns.
Also, as technical professionals, one of the critical areas you will need to focus on is effective management of projects. Effective planning and implementation must be clubbed with transparency in operations, adherence to set timelines and quick decision making. We must always prioritize the interest of the Nation and the public. Your projects must deliver positive socio-economic impact.
In conclusion, I congratulate all the successful graduates, and I wish that you will lead our country into a glorious and bright future. I also congratulate the Director, the Registrar and everyone involved for the successful conduct of this Convocation.