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Governor NN Vohra, who was Chief Guest on the occasion, presented 16 Gold Medals to the toppers of each branch of B Tech and 8 Gold Medals to the toppers of each programme of M. Tech to the pass out batches, besides 9 PhD and 3 MPhil Degrees to the candidates. About 1200 graduates, post-graduates and doctorates received Degrees at the Convocation.
Congratulating all those who received Degrees and Medals, the Governor asked them to work hard and achieve excellence in their respective fields and earn laurels for their parents, their alma-mater and their country. He asked them to bring new innovations in the present era of rapid technological transformations and take the country to new heights, an official statement said Saturday evening.
Following is the full text of the speech of the Governor:-
“I am happy to be associated with today’s Convocation at which the graduates who passed out in 2014 and 2015 will be receiving their Degrees. The National Institute of Technology (NIT), Srinagar, initially established as a Regional Engineering College in 1960, was elevated to NIT status in 2003. Mandated to produce engineers, scientists and technologists to take on the tasks of nation building, this Institute is the eighth among the first batch of NITs established in the country and also has the distinction of being declared as an Institute of National Importance by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
In the life of any educational institution Convocation is a very special event. It is a joyous occasion which is also solemn and emotional. Solemn as it marks the successful culmination of the courses of studies and learning undertaken by students at various levels; joyous as it ushers the graduates, full of hope and expectation, into a new world; and it is an emotional occasion as the students have to part with their friends and also take leave from their teachers with whom they worked closely for several years.
I congratulate the nearly 1200 Graduates, post-graduates and doctorates who are receiving their degrees today. They are indeed very lucky to have concluded their professional studies at this time when India is being looked upto as the fastest growing economy in the world and we are also emerging as a strong and important nation on many other fronts. I say this with considerable happiness because when I look back at the time when I graduated, in the early 1950s, India was faced with varied serious problems, the foremost among which was the virtually impossible task of securing enough food-grains, from wherever possible, to feed the over 380 million population of the country, as it was at that time.
I urge the young engineers and technologists, who are now embarking on their careers, to enter the next phase of their lives with confidence and an unwavering commitment to work hard, wherever they are deployed, and not to fail or falter in satisfactorily executing every task which they are required to handle. In this context, I would recall how, about four decades ago, a young man named Bill Gates, studying in Harvard University, had the courage and confidence in his abilities to make a telephonic bid for producing crucial software for Microsoft. In the years since past, this young man, who is theoretically a university drop-out, is known the world over as one of the most important technology magnates and a highly respected philanthropist. The passing-out graduates should also remember that presently the Chief Executive Officers of both Google and Microsoft are young Indian Technologists, Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella.
I would urge the graduates to use the knowledge and skills which they have gained in the past four years to make the best possible use of the vast array of attractive opportunities which are presently becoming available and will contribute towards making the “Make in India” initiatives a grand success. In this context, it is heartening to note that as of now, in 2015, India is the largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment among all the countries in the world and openings will now become available at a much faster pace.
Among the significant opportunities which are available within India it may be mentioned that, with support from Microsoft, Google, Intel, Verisign and Kotak, NASSCOM has commenced a notable initiative to provide the required financial and incubation support for launching 10,000 start-ups. It is also gratifying to note that while during 2014 there were only 3,100 start-ups in our country the figure is expected to touch 11,500 by 2020. Equally satisfying is the recent report that the infusion of venture capital and private equity based funding has increased from a mere $13 million in 2010 to $1818 million in 2014. And beyond our shores, in the Silicon Valley which our Prime Minister visited a few days back, Indian entrepreneurs have succeeded in securing 16% share of the total number of start-ups.
To Prof Gupta, the distinguished Director, and to his eminent colleagues, I would say that NIT Srinagar has, despite many constraints in the past years, already made its mark among the galaxy of science and technology training institutions in the country. It would be enormously useful if the Institute considers appropriately re-orienting its goals to train young boys and girls who not merely secure degrees but are truly capable of doing things on their own, particularly in new areas.
I believe that institutions of higher learning must not merely enable their students to successfully complete their respective courses of study but groom them to become skilled persons who are dedicated and have a high sense of responsibility which is rooted in strong character and ethical values. I also believe that institutions of education and learning must inculcate unwavering integrity which would enable all professionals, to whichever stream they may belong, to effectively resist and successfully thwart any unethical practice, no matter whether they work for the government, the corporate sector or for themselves. Their professional integrity must remain inviolable, whatever be the pressures or compulsions.
As I said earlier, India is on the threshold of large and exciting opportunities. However, we need to work harder and much faster to ensure that our country is able to adequately meet all its upcoming needs, particularly in the arena of science and technology. It is equally important that our technically trained youth seizes every possible opportunity and draws the maximum possible advantages from the speedy technological transformations which are taking place all around us and rapidly changing our lives.
I would repeat what I had said to Prof Rajat Gupta a few months ago, when he had invited me to participate in the Global Alumni Meet of this institution. I had suggested to him that, to make a beginning, his Institute must take all required initiatives to play a leading role in contributing towards the speedy human and economic development of Jammu and Kashmir. If the NIT embarks on such a course the educational, research and innovation streams would need to be purposefully integrated and well-conceived projects could be set up which would contribute towards tackling some of the many serious problems which the people of this State are facing. Innovative start-ups and appropriate ventures which do not have a long gestation period could perhaps be best set up through collaborative linkages with other universities and institutions of higher learning, within and outside J&K, and by pursuing synergetic and multi-disciplinary approaches. I believe that the success of such initial initiatives would lay the basis for proceeding speedily forward and taking on much bigger challenges in the coming years.
Needless to say, considering the enormous potential available in our country, much more could be done by our engineers, scientists and technologists to bring about a paradigm change and generate an environment which attracts ever increasing investments for producing newer products and for enhancing the scale and the productivity levels in the manufacturing sector. I would also venture to suggest that, as the IITs have been doing for the past many years, the NITs must further enhance their contribution towards building human capital which has the capacity and standing to attract meaningful investments, particularly in the arena of knowledge industry, which will take our nation speedily forward.
Before concluding, I would once again congratulate all the graduates who have received degrees today and particularly compliment those who have won awards and medals. I wish each of these young boys and girls a very bright future. I also take this opportunity of complimenting Prof Gupta and all his distinguished colleagues for their continuing sincere endeavours to take the NIT Srinagar forward on varied fronts. I wish this institution great success in the coming time”.
Director, NIT, Srinagar presented the report giving the achievements and initiatives of the Institution. He also congratulated the pass out candidates and wished them success in their career.
Prof DP Agrawal, ex-Chairman UPSC and Dr MJ Zarabi, Chairman Board of Governors, NIT, Srinagar also spoke on the occasion.