Any society that does not innovate, ‘stagnates’: PM

Age Correspondent With Agency Inputs

India, All India

Asks teachers, intellectuals for ways to improve quality of education.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 56th annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, on Saturday. Maharashtra governor C. Vidyasagar Rao and Union minister Prakash Javadekar are also seen. (Photo: PTI)

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that innovations have their roots in campuses and the minds of youngsters, saying that societies which do not innovate, stagnate.

Addressing the 56th annual convocation of IIT-Bombay campus on Saturday, Mr Modi also called the institute — which celebrated its diamond jubilee — “India’s instrument of transformation”, and not an “Institute of Technology”, while motivating students to focus on issues such as climate change, clean energy, water conversation and combating malnutrition, which would better India.

The Prime Minister announced a financial aid of Rs 1,000 crore for the institute, saying that six decades of “constant trying” had made it an institute of eminence.

He said seven lakh engineers pass out of the country’s educational campuses, and a collective effort was required to ensure they get high quality of education and acquire necessary skills.

“I appeal to teachers and intellectuals present here that they should think about how quality can be improved and come up with suggestions. It is our responsibility to ensure that not only quantity but quality too is of high level. The government is also actively taking steps for this,” Mr Modi said.

Beginning his speech with a reference to India’s freedom struggle, the Prime Minister said, “It wouldn’t have been possible if the people did not decide to come together and, likewise, students’ dedication and performance made the institute, IIT-Bombay. The students, too, are diamonds.”

The Prime Minister also expressed his pride, saying, “IIT students made the IT sector of India brick by brick. Or I should say, click by click.”

Heaping praise on IIT-B, Mr Modi said, “It is due to last six decades of constant trying that IIT-B has made its place as one of the country’s eminent institutes. You will be receiving a financial aid of Rs 1,000 crore which will help in the development of infrastructure.”

The PM also motivated the students to develop their start-up ideas, which would contribute to his ‘Make in India’ programme. “The best ideas come from campuses like IITs and young minds like you all, and not from government offices and fancy air-conditioned buildings,” said the 14th Prime Minister of India to loud cheers and applause.

Apart from Mr Modi, dignitaries such as human resources development minister Prakash Javadekar, Maharashtra governor C. Vidyasagar Rao, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, the president and vice-chancellor of Australia’s Monash University Prof. Margaret Gardner were present at the event.