Terming technology foresight as key to rapid development in the country, President Pratibha Patil emphasised on innovation in high-end cutting-edge technologies as well as at the level of common man and ensuring their effective delivery especially in rural areas.
Patil noted that the country looks at 2010-2020 as the decade of innovations to encourage the use of science and technology and research and development in the nation.
“Choosing the right technologies to put the nation or your own state on the path of rapid development requires technology foresight. We need large scale industrialisation and we also need to have effective rural technology delivery,” the President said.
“Recognising that science and technology, research and development and their applications, require a boost in the country, we are looking at the ten years from 2010 to 2020 as the decade of innovation,” she said addressing the third convocation of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU) in Katra.
Patil said the country needs new solutions- technological and otherwise- in many areas to achieve sustainable growth in agriculture, in energy, in renewable energy, in urban development, in water management and in manufacturing.
“Innovations are required at the level of both high-end cutting edge technologies, as well as at a level of common usage by people in their daily lives,” she said.
Underlining the importance of value-based quality education for young people, the President suggested a structured and thoughtful process for increasing the capacity of higher education institutions and for proper channelisation of students.
“The challenge of expanding higher education is not just about making room for an ever larger number of students, it is also about having these numbers flow into the right streams and sectors,” Patil, who is on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, said.
“A nation requires a range of qualifications and professional skills. A comprehensive education system must, therefore produce people who can meet job requirements, who can become good professionals because of their aptitude, whether they are doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, researchers, scientists or managers. It needs to produce innovators and entrepreneurs,” she said.
Describing education as an invaluable asset, the President said that it must “reach all boys and girls of every section of our society, so that the aspiration to realise their full potential becomes a reality for all in our country.”
Encouraging the use of information-technology in the education system, the President asked students to make its judicious use.
“Today, for example, a student through the internet can access databases of other educational institutions or can join discussions on topics of interest. Access to information has become a function of a click of the mouse…I hope that the students will utilise this facility in a judicious manner to increase their knowledge base, and not while away their energy in undesired directions,” Patil, who arrived yesterday on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, said.
Earlier during the day, President visited the ancient Raghunathji temple in Jammu.
The University is spread in about 474 acres amid pristine beauty close to the famous Shri Mata Vaishno Devi temple.
Patil will also visit the shrine situated at an altitude of 5,300 feet in Trikuta Hills.
The President asked the students to imbibe the right attitude to promote cooperation and friendship among people while adhering “the path of reason and the path of dialogue.”
“It requires tolerance and abandoning of narrow ideologies. This will make you a good citizen of the country. For in life, even as you seek individual success, you have a duty to also contribute to nation building efforts,” she added.
The President also awarded more than 600 students for their commendable academic performance during a ceremony attended by Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Vice Chancellor of the university Professor R N K Bamezai among others.