President Droupadi Murmu on Saturday stressed the need to make educational institutions future-ready, asserting that if the country takes steps to protect itself from vagaries of the future, it can reap rich demographic dividends. The president was addressing the closing ceremony of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi.
“India has a great talent pool which is yet to be fully tapped. We need to make our institutes adaptable to the future. This will require a new teaching-learning matrix, pedagogy and content which are future-oriented. I am confident that with our famed IITs, we will be able to nurture the younger generation with the necessary knowledge base and right skills to face the challenge,” she said.
Calling IITs the country’s pride, Droupadi Murmu said, “Their story is the story of Independent India. “IITs proved to the world the capability of India in the domains of education and technology. In more than one way, the story of the IITs is the story of Independent India. The IITs have contributed immensely to India’s improved standing on the global stage today. Faculty and alumni of IITs have shown the world our brainpower,” she said. The president said that by 2047 when the country will celebrate the centenary of Independence, the world around us will have changed drastically, thanks to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“Just as we were in no position 25 years ago to imagine the contemporary world, we cannot visualise today how artificial intelligence and automation are going to transform life. With our high population numbers, we need to have foresight and strategies in place to deal with the forces of the future where disruptions will be a new normal. The nature of employment will get completely changed,” she said.
Asserting that climate change poses a serious challenge, the president said that as a developing country with a high population base, our energy requirement for economic growth is very high. “Hence we need to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. In the years to come, as the world anxiously looks for technological solutions to environmental challenges, I trust India’s young engineers and scientists will help humankind achieve a breakthrough,” she said.