“I am delighted to be part of the Inaugural of SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Tiruchirappalli Campus.
If we were to trace the remarkable arc of growth and multi-dimensional progress of the SRM group over the years, we would be able to see for ourselves, the living reality of the vision and leadership of its founder, Dr. T. R. Paarivendhar, our Member of Parliament. While the SRM group today is synonymous with quality education spanning diverse disciplines, it owes its origins to very humble beginnings—this mission began with a primary school in 1969. Over the last 50 years, the SRM group has expanded its academic footprint beyond Tamil Nadu and has emerged as one of the biggest educational conglomerates in India providing high-quality education in multi-disciplinary fields.
India’s rich and illustrious history in education goes back to renowned institutions in our ancient land such as Takshashila and Nalanda, which attracted students from far and wide. All of us must strive to ensure that India regains its past glory and emerges as a Vishwaguru on the global scene once again. The role of the private sector in supplementing the efforts of the Government becomes critical when it comes to realising the dream of an educationally empowered India.
It is heartening to see institutions like those under the SRM group spearhead a definitive change in quality education and share the Government’s vision in laying the foundation for an Atmanirbhar Bharat.
To build a strong India, we need to optimize the skills and latent talent of our youth to ensure that the underlying potential of our demographic dividend is fully realised. At the same time, it becomes imperative to inculcate scientific temper in the younger generation.
Science and Technology should provide solutions to the everyday problems of the common man and improve the overall quality of life. I would like to add that technological advancements should be directed at mitigating the adverse impact on environment and climate change. I am happy that institutions like SRM, embedded in a vibrant academic community, are already providing a platform for innovations and technological advancements keeping all these factors in mind.
Our quest to create a new resurgent and aspirational India leans heavily on imparting quality education. The New Education Policy is a game-changer in this respect. It envisions broad based, multi-disciplinary, holistic higher education with flexible curricula, creative combinations of subjects and integration of vocational education—in short, the document encapsulates in it, a quest for excellence in teaching and learning.
I am told that in addition to quality education in various disciplines of science and technology, sports is accorded due importance in SRM. It is heart-warming to know that Miss Nethra Kumanan, the first Indian sailor to qualify for the Olympics is a student of SRM. I am sure that her teachers here had served as her mentors, motivating her to aim higher and set loftier benchmarks. All of you richly deserve a round of applause for her achievement as well.
The stellar performance of India’s sportspersons at Tokyo Olympics 2020 filled the hearts of all our countrymen with pride. Even more gratifying were the achievements of our Paralympians who through their single-minded focus, grit and resilience brought home a record number of 19 medals propelling India into the top 25 at the Para Games. This is a historic moment in India’s sporting journey and their exemplary performance has not only changed people’s perception towards disability but has also kindled hopes of India emerging as a major sporting power.
Let us set a target for ourselves to double the medal count in Paris Olympics in 2024 and lose no time in trying to achieve it. I urge all stakeholders, including the private sector, to come together to build an all-encompassing support system for our young and aspiring athletes. If an enabling ecosystem is created, I am sure, there are many more Avani Lekharas and Neeraj Chopras waiting in the wings, whose talent can be nurtured successfully. I urge educational institutions like SRM Institute to take a lead in this regard.
I would like to draw your attention to another major challenge facing our educational system today. Every year, the country produces around 1.5 million engineers, but a survey suggests that only seven percent of them are suitable for core engineering jobs. We have to increase employability by focusing on the skills required for the Industry. The emphasis must be on building a stronger academia-industry connection and ensuring that creative research results in the application of ground-breaking solutions.
You are the future of India and in your success lies the nation’s success. Equip yourselves with emotional and social skills that will enable you to adapt to a rapidly changing world. Develop a positive outlook towards life and seek to contribute to the larger cause of nation-building. Strive constantly to use your education for the good of others, society and the nation at large.
I understand that SRM Tiruchirappalli has diversity and richness with respect to programmes offered, opportunities provided for skill development and placements and has also identified various thrust areas keeping in view both national needs and local relevance. I would urge you to promote innovative instructional practices with emphasis on independence and creativity. It is also vital to instil a spirit of voluntarism and community service among students. While bridging the rural-urban divide in education, it is necessary to create structures of social support in a student-centred system of teaching and learning.
The services rendered by the SRM group in collaborating with the Government on clinical trials with respect to COVID-19, as also providing affordable and necessary health care facilities to the population affected by the pandemic, are commendable indeed.
Tiruchirappalli, on the banks of the River Cauvery, is well known as an educational and industrial hub with several institutions of eminence, including NIT, Bharathidasan University and IIM, among others. Many illustrious leaders have also graduated from here, including Nobel laureate Dr. C. V. Raman, former Presidents of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Dr. R. Venkataraman and the present Union Minister of Finance, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman. I am sure, SRM Institute is another jewel in the city’s star-studded crown.
I would like to see SRM Tiruchirappalli evolve into a world-class institution with a harmonious ambience fostering the discovery and dissemination of knowledge.
My congratulations to the Chairman of Trichy & Ramapuram campus, Dr. R. Shivakumar who has been carrying the academic torch lit by the Founder-Chairman and has been contributing to the growth of the institutions of the SRM group at Ramapuram and Trichy.
I fervently hope that the SRM Institute of Science and Technology will continue to contribute to nation-building in the years to come in a meaningful way.