- Chairman, Board of Governors, NIT Mizoram
- Deputy Registrar
- Distinguished Guests and Invitees
- My beloved students
- Friends from the Media
- Ladies and Gentlemen
Convocation ceremonies are always nostalgic occasions. And I am sure this is a very nostalgic and special occasion for all of you and indeed this institution. This is after all the very 1st Convocation Ceremony of National Institute of Technology, Mizoram and I think it does call for a celebration! You are graduating from your alma mater and stepping out into extremely competitive and challenging world from the safety of your cocooned student life. Today, is a significant day, not just for you but, also for your families.
It is a happy occasion for me, as I address all of you bright young men and women. Our Nation today is undergoing spectacular economic development. India is making rapid strides in various fields and has announced its presence on the global stage. Our Hon’ble Prime Minister has propelled a number of initiatives such as Digital India, Skill India, Make in India, to name a few, which are driving growth in our country today. And the spotlight now is on our youth who have tremendous potential to sustain this momentum through their creativity and intelligence.
You, my beloved students, are the first batch of NIT Mizoram. You are now the flag-bearers of this institution. Equipped with all skills, knowledge of various engineering subjects which you have imbibed here, you will now be called upon to contribute in your respective spheres of work. On this occasion I must also laud the efforts of your teachers and professors who have worked tirelessly in assisting your batch in pursuit of knowledge and success. I also felicitate the parents and well-wishers, who have supported the students throughout their journey. This day will be cherished for years to come and I am sure will inspire the NIT, Mizoram to attain newer goals and contribute positively towards nation building.
While, for most students I am sure getting placements in good companies and bagging hefty pay packages is a priority, I would also urge all of you to always spare a thought for the underprivileged and those who are deprived of opportunities that you have gotten. Here, I find it relevant to quote the great thinker and educationist Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who once said and I quote -
“Science and technology will help us to solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of disease and illiteracy, of superstition and deadening custom, of vast resources running to waste of a rich country inhabited by a poor people.” (unquote)
Over 250 million people in our country are still mired in the subsistence level of poverty. NITs around the country have contributed in good measure to the development of the country through their research. The brilliance of its alumni has illuminated many lives. NITs have created pioneers in the field of technology; successful entrepreneurs have also emerged from the portals of the NITs. I would expect the graduates of NIT Mizoram to follow in the footsteps of their alumni from other NITs and bring laurels to their alma mater.
Today, the higher education sector offers an ocean of opportunities for our youth as we increasingly move towards a knowledge driven society. I am happy to note that in our country the Gross Enrolment Ratio has improved in the last 2-3 years. There is a renewed focus on higher education, especially technical education and specialization as also skill development. Yes, there are impediments such as lack of adequate infrastructure, shortage of faculty but we are gradually overcoming them. We must not let impediments in our path to deter or bog us down in any manner in our pursuit for excellence.
You are now going to be part of the technically sound, skilled work force of our country. Your knowledge will drive the economy as the global economy has also become more knowledge centric over the last few years. Having said this, I must urge you to innovate and apply the research and studies undertaken at the institute in the field. There are social entrepreneurs today who are using technology to bring change to the lives of millions of people in our country. Indeed, while I must hail the role of social entrepreneurs, it is worth mentioning that the Government of India has taken the lead by deploying and leveraging technology for the benefit of the masses. Projects like Bharat Net or the National Fiber Optic Network which will connect the villages of the country and ensure last mile digital connectivity are as case in point. These projects are driven by young, bright engineers like you all here. There are mobile apps that have been developed both by the Government of India as well as private developers for farmers and the agriculture sector in general.
Also, in a first of its kind initiative since economic liberalization, the Government of India has given a platform to creative minds. Programmes like Make in India and Start-up India which incentivize young entrepreneurs have received overwhelming response. I am sure a number of you would exploit the skills you have acquired here by starting up your own ventures and contribute to the ever growing success of these initiatives. In that, rather than an employment seeker, be an employment creater. You will not only create valuable assets for yourself but contribute greatly to the development of the country by creating value and employment opportunities for the country as a whole. A number of you would have undertaken research too at the institute. The institute must lay emphasis on research and care should be taken that the quality and originality is not compromised on in any manner. I would be extremely happy to see research work being translated into some ventures under the Start-up India and Make in India programmes. I hope the Institute would keep me informed of the success of its students.
I am cognizant of the fact that your institute is currently functioning in temporarily hired buildings and the permanent campus is coming up near Lengpui. Yet, the institute steered by the Director and his team has managed to cater to several specializations in engineering and has overcome these constraints. I applaud this zeal of the team NIT Mizoram. I am hopeful that NIT Mizoram will get a world class campus soon. I would strongly urge the Director and his team to work towards creating a verdant and vibrant Campus. We should see a ‘Green NIT’ campus come up in the near future, a campus that everyone would be proud of since all of us are stakeholders in the success of NIT Mizoram and its alumni. The focus should be on creating campus that blends in with the rich flora of the region and also incorporates water-harvesting structures since the region is blessed with more than adequate rainfall. This is also an area where you could benefit from in-house innovation. You must strive to make your campus eco-friendly by coming up with innovative solutions for harnessing rain water, managing solid-waste, solar power and so on. It would behove an institution of your stature to not only look at day to day issues of running and maintaining a campus, but also to contribute to the society in Mizoram. You can do this by working on strategies for disaster mitigation, deploying of technology in law and order including traffic management etc., in our state capital. This should be seen as a part of the institute’s social responsibility and I am sure NIT will look to collaborate with the government on some such issues.
It is indeed a matter of pride and satisfaction that despite constraints of infrastructure and geographical remoteness, students of this institution have excelled. We must continue to excel, set higher standards, and create new benchmarks in performance, innovation and excellence. Here I am reminded of what the great scientist and our beloved former President late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam said; he said and I quote –
“Educationists should build the capacities of the spirit of inquiry, creativity, entrepreneurial and moral leadership among students and become their role model.”
So, I would urge team NIT Mizoram, its faculty and the entire teaching staff to remember this. You must fulfill your duty as educationists to the best of your abilities. The aim should be to develop a scientific temperament and apply it to the issues of development at hand. Creating a healthy competitive spirit and arousing the curiosity of pupils is necessary. We should always remember that knowledge and innovation are the keystones of progress. We must also work at building strong linkages with industry so that our talented human resource can get appropriate opportunities. For this we need to introspect and take stock of what we have already achieved and what we can do to groom our students further. Together, your experience and the enthusiastic minds of the young students will enable us to carve a better future for the generations to come. Also, for a greater bond and continuity, you must maintain a link with the Alma mater. A NIT Alumni website, if already not crated, must be done.
Let me now conclude by wishing the graduates once again a bright and rewarding future. Always strive for the best, as there is little place for mediocrity. May the Almighty bless you all with success in your cherished ambitions. And may you contribute greatly to the rapid socio-economic development of the State and our great Nation.
Good Luck, Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you very much for your attention.