Dr S. Christopher delivered this speech at 7th Convocation Address of GITAM University in Hyderabad. He is Secretary of Department of Defence Research & Development and Director General of DRDO, Govt. of India.
It gives me immense pleasure to be amongst the Students, Faculty, participating Engineers, Researchers and Academicians who have gathered to be part of the Seventh Convocation of Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management (GITAM) University, Hyderabad Campus. I am truly delighted to know that GITAM has transformed itself into one of the biggest universities of its kind in the State and has got the potential to reach the global pinnacle.
Dear Students, I congratulate you all who are graduating today from this academy of excellence. You have reached a landmark in your academic career as well as in life today which would not have been possible without your dedication and hard work. It is indeed very happy to see the joy of accomplishment in all of you. The picturesque location, idyllic surroundings and quiet atmosphere makes it an ideal destination for the pursuit of learning and creativity
It is heartening to note that the GITAM came into existence in the year 1980, led by Dr. M.V.V.S. Murthi, the former Parliamentarian and a group of intellectuals, as Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management and now known as GITAM University, I understand, has remained committed to excellence in higher education foraying into diversified disciplines of learning. Backed by the track record of more than 3 decades in teaching and research studies, GITAM University has steadily grown to become an academy par excellence since its inception.
GITAM university keeping national requirements and to promote interdisciplinary research, GITAM University has established Research Centres for Sustainable Urban Development, Integrated Rural Development, Climate Change & Disaster Management, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and many other Multidisciplinary Cells. These are indeed the need of the hour and a challenge for mankind.
The University has established Central Research Laboratory at the University to pursue Research on a single platform. Research on Advanced Materials & Processing, Chemical Analysis, Materials Research, Biotechnology and advanced computations are vigorously being pursued in the Campus. It is also that a modern Data Centre has been established by the University to provide state-of-the-art facilities to Students and Faculty members to practice and validate concepts. The connectivity is backbone for any educational institution and I commend the team behind this world class data centre.
Today, I would like to share with you some thoughts which have evolved during my association with DRDO which is working for India’s technological prowess in the field of defense. I would consider these moments with you worthwhile if I could present you the technological challenges lying ahead of us and thereby inspire you to identify areas of your own strength and interest and those of people around you in the endeavor of making our nation a ‘Technology Leader’. If we take stock of growth of technology on a time scale over the centuries, and understand its human impact by means of its consequences we will realize that we have to give equal importance to each & every segment of technology for the security and well-being of our mighty nation. Be it – National Security, Cyber security, Energy Security, Space Security, Economic Security and growth, bio diversity, environment, living standards which include food security and health care.
Being a defense scientist is worth while sharing the importance of quality education in the field of science and technology essential for making India stronger by equipping it by world class defense systems and technologies, ensuring freedom from denial regimes and external controls.
Defence Research & Development organization is mandated to ensure technological superiority of the armed forces by way of research, design and development of state of the art technologies leading to production, life cycle upgrades and sustenance of the platforms, sensors weapons and other systems for armed forces towards increasing self-reliance in defense. A good numbers of products developments by DRDO have high export potentials and contributing immensely in flagship program of make in India, Therefore I appeal to all who are graduating today form this prestigious university to make our country strong by their acquired skills and innovations. Make in India aims to transform India into a global hub of manufacturing, whose share in GDP would rise to 25 per cent by 2022. It has identified 25 sectors that would get incentives-support and has promised to align policies to boost investments in them. The sectors that would get a government push include textiles, food processing, and skill-intensive sectors such as aviation, defense equipment manufacturing and electronics.
Though India has the edge of a young workforce, the quality of skills is still a challenge. Of the 14 million people that enter the workforce every year barely 2 million are properly trained. “A huge upgrade of the skilling infrastructure is an obvious requirement. We have to invest more on improving the engineering skillin coming time So that we can create good quality workforce which is required in designing, developing, projectplanning, execution operation and maintenance. The face of the Indian defense sector is changing rapidly with a strong focus on indigenization. The Make in India initiative is gaining steam. The new category of ‘Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured’ (IDDM) equipment reverses the local mix from 70:30 to 30:70. The DRDO technologies developed for armed forces are also benefiting the civil society. The bio-digesters originally developed for armed forces, have been adopted for passenger coaches in Indian railways. The composites technologies have been used to developed light weight walking aids for polio children.
I call upon the young graduates, doctoral students and faculties to involve themselves in nation building by generating creative knowledge that should make our country a developed nation.
The aptitude for entrepreneurship should be cultivated right from the beginning. We must teach our students to take calculated risks for the sake of larger gain, but within the ethos of good business. They must be oriented towards best management practices so that they can apply the skills learnt for stating new businesses themselves thereby generating employment. Again on this occasion I extend my best wishes to each one of you for your success and for fulfillment of your visions, dreams, and aspirations in life. May the idea and experience of achievement and accomplishment guide you in your further journey as you leave the portals of this esteemed institute.