Be mentors to next generation scientists, President tells directors of key institutes

In his meeting with the directors of IISc, IITs, and IISERs, the President of India, Mr Ram Nath Kovind stated that it is important that challenges that confront the nation and society become the prime instigator of their quest for knowledge, discovery, and innovation


New Delhi: Addressing the directors of IISc, IITs, and IISERs in the concluding session of the meet, President Kovind said that education, especially higher education, is a subject he was personally passionate about. This led him to ask for this meeting to be convened – to understand, discuss and, where possible, to find quick solutions to the problems faced by these institutes.

The President said that these institutes of national importance have an important responsibility on ensuring that the research and developments in the field of science and technology are linked to the needs of our country and its people. At the heart of a scientific endeavour is often a problem that the scientist wants to solve. It is important that challenges that confront our nation and our society become the prime instigator of their quest for knowledge, discovery, and innovation.

The President said that we face enormous challenges. Be it lifting our people out of poverty, ensuring their health and well-being or attaining food and energy security, these institutes can play an important role in meeting these challenges. Their incubation centres can also help to develop solutions to the problems we experience on a daily basis – from pollution of our natural resources to the traffic jams in our rapidly expanding cities.

The President said that the participation of women in science must be encouraged in every way possible. It is essential to promote the participation of girl students and of women in science and technology. If this disparity is not addressed, our scientific achievements will always be less than perfect and less than desirable.

Remembering the stalwarts of scientific research in India such as Vikram Sarabhai, Homi Jehangir Bhabha, Satish Dhawan, the President said that what made them different from the rest was their ability to develop institutions as well as to groom the next generation of scientific administrators and leaders. He called upon the Directors of IISc, IITs and IISERs to discharge their key role as leadership mentors for the next generation of scientists. He stated that this would ensure that we have a ready talent pool of scientist-administrators who can conceive, establish and administer our scientific institutes.

Among those who participated in the one-day meet were Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Mr Prakash Javadekar; Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Dr Satya Pal Singh; Chairman, AICTE, Prof. Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, representatives of Ministry of HRD, Ministry of Finance and Department of Science and Technology, apart from the Directors of 31 IISc, IITs and IISERs.