Address by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President at the Graduation Day Ceremony of the Muffakham Jah College of Engineering and Technology, in Hyderabad on June 29, 2019.

Hyderabad | June 29, 2019

“It is indeed a great pleasure to be here today on the momentous occasion of the graduation day.

At the outset, let me congratulate all the graduating students, their parents and the teachers. This is an occasion which you will cherish and remember throughout your life. This day is the culmination of many years of hard work and determination, a celebration of your talent and creativity.

I have no hesitation in saying that the technical training and professional and personal values instilled in you by this institution will stand in good stead in shaping your future, in meeting the challenges of demanding careers and in motivating you towards making a meaningful contribution to the society at large.

I am happy to know that Muffakham Jah (MJ) College is occupying a prominent place among the institutes of higher education in India.

I am glad to note that high academic standards, modern state of the art infrastructure, committed management, dedicated faculty and motivated students have taken this institution to the lofty position it occupies today at the national level.

I am told that students of MJ excel in both curricular and co-curricular activities and that its alumni are making the alma mater proud through their outstanding achievements and significant contributions to government as well as private sectors, both in India and across the world. Today, you join their ranks and I hope that you will inherit their legacy.

Indeed, this is a moment of great pride for all the young graduates assembled here and also a moment of reflection and introspection. It is a time for an evaluation of your achievements and to set new goals. As you tread a new path and build a new future, you must firmly uphold the values inculcated in you by your parents, teachers and this institution.

I hope that as you cross an important milestone in your life today, you will prepare yourself to make a positive difference not only to your life but also to the lives of fellow countrymen.

I am confident that you have acquired the necessary skill sets to excel in your chosen fields.

My dear young friends,

As India surges ahead as the fastest growing economy in the world, aspiring for a position of leadership in the world, you are expected to deliver innovative and futuristic solutions to hasten the pace of this transformation.

Progress is never a straight line. It is never an easy process. Progress has to be forged by dreamers, innovators and thinkers like you. Technology is an equalizer and an enabler of growth. We have to ensure technology is leveraged to improve the lives of people and move towards a sustainable and inclusive development. We live in an era where paradigm shifts in economic, cultural, scientific and technological arenas have completely transformed the way we live, the way we work and the way we communicate.

You will be called upon to merge pivotal concepts with critical thinking skills to achieve success in this era of intense disruption. Cutting edge technologies in the field of automation, robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are going to dominate the technical landscape and shall be the key components of many practical solutions.

I am happy that your institution recognizes the skill sets required for the future technology providers and has equipped you with useful ‘life hacks’ during your learning.

I am glad to share with you the latest global innovation index of India. Our country has improved from an index of 81 in 2015 to 57 in 2018.

This has been possible due to the enterprise and innovative thinking of our youth and the path-breaking schemes of the Government of India such as the Institute Innovation Council, Smart India Hackathon and Startup India.

Dear Teachers,

In the light of constantly transforming technology landscape, you have to be lifelong learners. You must remain conversant with niche technology areas like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, Virtual Reality and 3D printing.

I am glad to learn that teachers of this institution are actively enrolling in courses offered through SWAYAM, Government’s indigenous Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) platform. It is the World’s Largest Online Free E-Learning Platform Portal designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of Education Policy-- Access, Equity and Quality.

Let me remind you that only those who challenge the mundane and embrace the new will survive in the competitive world of tomorrow and will be able to mould students into true achievers.

My dear young friends,

India is emerging as the land of opportunities.

As part of the 39th Mission of PSLV, Indian space and research organization (ISRO) has created history by successfully launching 104 satellites into the orbit on a single mission.

As part of the ‘Gaganyaan’ Programme, the Union Cabinet had approved Indian Human Spaceflight Initiative with an outlay of Rs. 9023 Crores. This Programme will establish a broader framework for collaboration between ISRO, academia, industry, national agencies and other scientific organizations.

I urge academic institutions to come forward and play a very proactive role in this program. At the same time, you must also come up with innovative and out-of-box solutions to the challenges faced by the common man.

Technological advancements are important. But every technological breakthrough must aim at addressing challenges posed by climate change, pollution, rapid industrialization, urbanization, water shortage and agrarian distress in certain areas. We need to ensure that agriculture becomes profitable and sustainable.

While introducing the students to futuristic technologies, we must never fail to sensitize them to the principles of conservation and sustainability.

Higher education has a unique role in preparing torchbearers of tomorrow, it is essential for higher educational institutions to mould the next generation by inculcating the core values of patriotism, honesty, social responsibility, discipline, compassion, respect for women and pluralism.

There is also a need to include courses on values, morals and ethics in the curriculum. To be a good human being is as important as being a good engineer.

The students have to be made aware of the need to preserve traditional values and to be socially conscious and empathetic. They also need to develop a positive attitude and shun negativism.

Dear sisters and brothers, it should be noted that there cannot be any compromise on imparting qualitative education and our institutions must always strive to maintain the highest standards. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a race for quantity rather than quality. It is time for educationists and policy makers to address this issue.

As we all are aware, India has signed the Washington Accord under which accreditation is being done using globally accepted indicators. The efforts of statutory bodies will bear fruit only when each one of you is oriented towards quality. So, maintaining quality should become a compulsive habit.

Over the years, India has established itself as a major software service provider to the world with Hyderabad and Bangalore becoming the hubs in that area. However, remember that technology is constantly changing and coding skills alone will not take us far.

It is time to design, patent and deliver products.

This is only possible by inculcating a scientific spirit and research and development skills in students. I am glad that your institution understands this and has established research centers and allocated a separate budget for R & D projects.

Our universities and higher education institutions must accord greater importance to research and publication of quality papers in peer-reviewed international journals.

Every one of you should be aware of the importance of intellectual property rights and filing of patents.

I am glad to share with you that we have already started making our presence felt. In just one year time, India has moved from 44th rank to 36th rank in the International Intellectual property Index and we need to make every effort to figure among the top 10 in the world.

Entrepreneurship is another area that has been neglected in our institutions. Its time has now come!

I wish to recall the words of former Hon’ble President of India, Shri. APJ Abdul Kalam from his address to the students of IIT Guwahati in which he urged the students to develop as many ways of increasing employment in the country as possible.

My dear young graduates,

India is on the threshold of emerging as a major economic power and we are an old civilization with a young population which is a great demographic advantage for the country.

The vision of higher education must be to realize the country's human resource potential to its fullest with equity and inclusion. Education is the single most important element in converting our young population into national assets. If the younger generation of our nation is empowered, it will constitute a very strong and productive workforce for the coming years.

Please remember that Culture is a way of life and Religion is a way of worship. Accordingly, I have the honour of asserting that India is a country built on the foundations of a civilisation that is fundamentally tolerant. In India, religious freedom is a Fundamental Right guaranteed under Articles 25 to 28 of our Constitution.

The preamble of our Constitution declares our country as Secular so as to guarantee every citizen of equality without any discrimination basedon religion, though our country is predominantly Hindu. This Constitutional prescription is nothing but a natural culmination of the core values of Indian civilisation that has evolved over the last 5000 years.

India is the birth place of four major religions of the world-- namely, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Significant population of three other religions of the world namely Islam, Christianity and Zoroastrianism live in India. In fact, Indian Muslims constitute the third largest Muslim population in the world.

Such cohabitation of the people of seven major religions of the world in India is testimony to the values of fraternity, equality, assimilation and accommodation that are integral to Indian way of thought and living.

Equality of religions as observed in all walks of public life have enabled leaders from minority religions rise to hold the offices of President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Governors, Chief Justices, Chief Ministers, Ministers Chief Election Commissioners , Attorney Generals and Army chief’s besides making major contributions in other walks of public life like music, culture, sports, films etc.

Certain aberrations like looking at minorities as vote banks may have had some undesirable socio-political ramifications but the situation is changing as a new, young and aspirational India is emerging fast.

The motto of ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas Sabka Vishwas’ has its roots in the core principles of Indian civilisation. We believe in an inclusive India wherein every citizen has the same entitlements irrespective of his or her religious leanings.

All through the ages, Indian philosophers and rulers and the modern political leadership have expounded and upheld the principles of equality and tolerance. The world can be rest assured that India celebrates its religious diversity by upholding religious freedoms. No other country matches India in respect of such diversity and the commitment to preserve such a colourful mosaic.

As you are aware, India is respected world over for its civilizational ethos, which is symbolized by age old values of non violence, peace and harmony and the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

Dear youngsters,

You need to be fearless in charting new territories and adopt team work as the success ‘mantra’ because the unfolding technological ecosystem demands group-driven creativity.

Young people like you are the innovators, creators, builders and leaders of the future. You can transform the future of our country if you possess the right skills, values, discipline and determination to pursue your passion. But it would be possible if you dream big and work hard to achieve the dream. Hard work always pays off.

You have seen that Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Shantnanu Narayan , Geeta Gopinath are leading the world’s largest organizations like Google, Microsoft Adobe and IMF respectively. Many others like them have placed India on global leadership map.

Are you happy with just these few names? I am not. I aspire to see India producing hundreds of such technology leaders and I am confident that a day will come when all of us will collectively realize this vision. I am sure that many of you will be aspiring to be among those leaders. Dream big and work with single-minded devotion and dedication to achieve your dreams.

Today might be the last day of your student life. But be fully aware of the fact that your true learning actually starts from today.

As you build your lives and make your mark in this world, let the knowledge, wisdom, courage, values and empathy that you gained from this great citadel of learning guide you forward.

Your generation is very well equipped to deal with the challenges of the future, you are smarter, better educated, more resourceful, better exposed to the world, more open and environmentally conscious.

Look at problems with fresh eyes and unencumbered by prejudices. I am sure you will make all the right choices and make India a more prosperous, inclusive and just nation.

I wish you success in all your future endeavours.

Thank You!

Jai Hind!”