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Address by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee after witnessing the exchange of MOUs



Address by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee after witnessing the exchange of MOUs between Industry and Academic Institutions on the first day of Visitor’s Conference


Good Evening!

1. To begin with, let me extend a warm welcome to you all. Today is an important day for higher education in our country. For the first time in Rashtrapati Bhavan, brilliant minds, captains of industry and academic leaders of 114 central institutions have come together on a common platform to deliberate on issues concerning the higher education sector. 


2. Let me confess, at the beginning of my Presidential term I was a stranger to the role of Visitor of central institutions of higher learning. Visits to various universities - so far, I have visited over 100 institutions - and discussions with eminent educationists led to the convening of a series of conferences of these institutions at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Starting from February 2013, seven conferences have been held so far. I have had the opportunity to interact with the heads of central institutions in groups - thrice with central universities, twice with NITs and once each with IISERs and IITs. Recommendations emanating from these discussions have greatly benefitted all stakeholders.

3. The discussion during these conferences focused on:

• Improvement in the quality of education, research and innovation, and faculty development.

• Creating international linkages for joint research, and faculty and student exchanges.

• Improving the rankings of the institutions.

• Greater use of ICT networks and development of modified MOOCs to deliver quality education at affordable prices.

• Greater involvement of alumni in the management structure of the institutions.

• Deeper engagement of industry with the academic institutions.

The results we have achieved in these few years are remarkable. The credit goes to the dedicated teamwork of all the stakeholders.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

4. My constant refrain that we cannot aspire to be a world power without having a single world-class university, has found resonance amongst the institutions, who have now started looking at the international ranking processes in a more proactive and systematic manner. For the first time, two Indian institutions have found place in the top 200 positions in QS rankings. IISc Bangalore at 147th and IIT Delhi at 179th place deserve full praise and compliments. If we provide enough funds to top 10 to 15 institutions for the next 4-5 years, I am confident that these institutions will storm into the top 100 of global academic rankings within next few years. The National Institutional Rankings Framework put in place by the Ministry of HRD with an India-centric approach will further help our institutions to compete nationally and globally. Apart from giving the nation, the institutions, its students and its alumni a sense of pride, a high rank can help attract quality faculty and meritorious students, open fresh avenues of growth and placement for students, and provide a benchmark for continuous improvement in standards.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

5. Innovation is the currency of the future. Innovation converts research into wealth. Unless we recognize this reality and start working in a focused manner on creating a strong innovation culture in our country now, we will be left behind in the march to modernity. Way back in February 2013, I had called upon the universities to establish links with grassroots innovators. The response has been very encouraging. Over 60 central institutions have started innovation clubs to provide a platform for interaction between the academic community and grassroots innovators. In April 2014, when I met the heads of IISc and IISERs, I stressed upon the need to create synergy between the activities of these clubs with innovation incubators located in the technical institutes like IITs and NITs to create an innovation network. This effort needs a further push. I understand the National Innovation Foundation has compiled a catalogue of grassroots innovations after segregating them into three sectors. I am sure central institutions as well as participating industries will find it a useful document. I am confident that this linkage of grassroots innovators with entrepreneurs and financiers will yield a rich crop of “start ups”.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

6. A strong inter-linkage between industry and academia is a critical component for developing the educational and industrial eco-systems. In all the conferences conducted so far, the participants were unanimous that this eco-system needs further strengthening. It is therefore a momentous day, today, as industry captains and leaders of academic institutions have joined hands to sign 44 Memoranda of Understanding. It shows on the one hand the increasing commitment of the industry towards institutes of higher learning, and on the other, exhibits a strong desire of academic institutions to constructively engage with industrial partners. I applaud all industry leaders, particularly CII as the focal point, for collaborating with the President’s Secretariat in this initiative. I will like to place on record my appreciation for the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers and the Ministry of HRD for their efforts in finalizing these MOUs aimed at deepening the eco-system for industry-academia dialogue.

7. Today, the participants of the Conference have had the benefit of listening to the inspiring words of Prof. C.N.R. Rao, Prof. M.S. Swaminathan and Shri Kailash Satyarthi. These mighty minds have travelled unchartered territories and excelled in trying circumstances. I thank them for sparing their time to come here and share their transformative ideas with the participants.

8. Before I conclude, I want to share with you this thought of Mahatma Gandhi. I quote: “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history” (unquote). The gathering here today represents that small body of determined men and women. The mission is clear. We have to move forward. Now.

Thank you. 

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Visitor’s Conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan commences with industry - academia interaction, exchange of MoUs and lectures by eminent persons 
The first ever three-day Visitor’s Conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan commenced today (November 4, 2015) with an interactive session between Industry and Academia, exchange of 44 MoUs and lectures by eminent persons.

Speaking after witnessing the exchange of MoUs, the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee said his constant refrain that we cannot aspire to be a world power without having a single world-class university, has found resonance amongst the institutions, who have now started looking at the international ranking processes in a more proactive and systematic manner. For the first time, two Indian institutions have found place in the top 200 positions in QS rankings. IISc Bangalore at 147th and IIT Delhi at 179th place deserve full praise and compliments. If we provide enough funds to top 10 to 15 institutions for the next 4-5 years, these institutions will certainly storm into the top 100 of global academic rankings within next few years. The National Institutional Rankings Framework put in place by the Ministry of HRD with an India-centric approach will further help our institutions to compete nationally and globally. Apart from giving the nation, the institutions, its students and its alumni a sense of pride, a high rank can help attract quality faculty and meritorious students, open fresh avenues of growth and placement for students, and provide a benchmark for continuous improvement in standards.

The President said innovation is the currency of the future. Innovation converts research into wealth. Unless we recognize this reality and start working in a focused manner on creating a strong innovation culture in our country now, we will be left behind in the march to modernity. Over 60 central institutions have started innovation clubs to provide a platform for interaction between the academic community and grassroots innovators. He was confident that this linkage of grassroots innovators with entrepreneurs and financiers will yield a rich crop of “start ups”.

The President said that brilliant minds, captains of industry and academic leaders of 114 central institutions have come together on a common platform to deliberate on issues concerning the higher education sector for the first time in Rashtrapati Bhavan. As Visitor of central institutions of higher learning, he has visited over 100 institutions and has held seven conferences at Rashtrapati Bhavan so far. He stated that the results achieved in these few years are remarkable and credit goes to the dedicated teamwork of all the stakeholders.

The President said a strong inter-linkage between industry and academia is a critical component for developing the educational and industrial eco-systems. The President concluded quoting Mahatma Gandhi’s words ‘A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." He stated that the gathering at the Conference represents that small body of determined men and women. He said the mission is clear. We have to move forward now.

Earlier on the day, an interactive session between Industry-Academia was organized with CII in which Shri Sumit Mazumder, President, CII; Ms. Shobana Kamineni, Vice President CII; Prof. SK Sopory, Vice Chancellor, JNU; Prof. Devang V. Khakhar, Director, IIT-Bombay and Dr. Swapan Bhattacharya, Director, NITK-Surathkal were participated.

Nobel Laureate Shri Kailash Satyarthi, Bharat Ratna Prof. CNR Rao and India's foremost agriculture scientist Prof. MS Swaminathan delivered lectures before the exchange of MoUs.

The day was concluded with a banquet hosted by the President for the participants and other dignitaries. 

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Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of call on by the members of the 55th NDC course and staff of National Defence College 
1. Commandant, National Defence College, Lt Gen Navkiran Singh Ghei, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (Bar) members of the faculty and staff, officers from the Indian Armed Forces, Civil Services and from friendly foreign countries. It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you all to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

2. The global environment today poses numerous challenges to the world because of its dynamic nature. The astonishing pace at which events have unfolded in the recent past could not have been foreseen a decade earlier.

3.
Each country is guided in its actions by its national interests and objectives. The power relationships are constantly changing, and unless a country understands, appreciates and adjusts itself to the changes that are taking place around it, its own security will be seriously jeopardised.

4. Since natural and manmade resources are always at a premium, there will be intense competition among nations to take control of these resources.

5. Security is no more confined to preservation of territorial integrity alone as it encompasses economic, energy, food, health, environmental and several other dimensions of National well being.Intensive research and quality analysis in all fields and disciplines is thus a pre-requisite which calls for a holistic approach to studies across a vast spectrum of disciplines. There must be a conscious effort to strengthen the underlying linkages and not divide them into watertight compartments. Adopting such an approach will yield rich dividends.At the same time, one must not lose sight of the larger picture and keep the primary objective always in focus.

6.
The success of any nation state depends on how effectively it harnesses all the available resources at its disposal, foremost among these being the human resource. The development of human resource for National Security is an onerous task undertaken by National Defence College of India where senior officers from not only the Armed Forces but also from Civil Services and friendly foreign countries are endowed with background knowledge to make policy decisions related to national security.

7. In a democratic system like ours, various organs of the state must understand the strengths and limitations of each other. Political leadership and senior Civil Services officers must be conversant with the capabilities and limitations of the Defence forces. Similarly, Armed Forces officers need to understand the limitations and constitutional frame work under which the political set up and Civil Services function. However, both of them should be aware of the larger perspective of National Security in order to take informed decisions of vital importance.

8. I am made to understand that a total of six studies comprise the curriculum of the National Defence College course. The Socio-Political Study is to make you comprehend the main features of the Indian society and polity and to assess issues which have a bearing on National Security. The Economy, Science and Technology Study is to introduce you to the principles and practices that shape economic trends as well as influences of science and technology in attaining self reliance in security related fields.Similarly, Study on International Security Environment, Global Issues and India’s Strategic Neighbourhood is to focus on the international security environment as also its impact on India’s foreign policy. The final study on Strategies and Structures for National Security is the synthesis and culmination of everything that has been learned and experienced during the year.

9. I hope the Course will make you into more aware and well-informed individuals, who can make well reasoned decisions taking the country’s security perspectives into consideration. Multidisciplinary approach to problems of national security was recognised by Chanakya, the author of‘Arthashastra’. Even Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, while inaugurating the National Defence College in 1960, articulated that ‘Defence is not an isolated subject. It is intimately connected with the economic, industrial and many other aspects in the country and is all encompassing’.

10. The role of the Armed Forces has also expanded far beyond traditional military matters with the revolutions in military affairs and globalisation. It is clear that future conflicts in the complex defence and security environment will require a more integrated multi-state and multi-agency approach.Preparing military leaders, police officers and civil servants to deal with the complex security environment of the future will necessarily have to be addressed in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

11. Finally, I once again wish you all, success in your future endeavours and hope that you all will bring more laurels to the National Defence College and your respective countries.

Thank you

‘Jai Hind’ 

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Members of 55TH NDC course call on President 
Members of the 55th NDC Course and staff of National Defence College called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee today (November 4, 2015) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the success of any nation state depends on how effectively it harnesses all the available resources at its disposal, foremost among these being the human resource. The development of human resource for National Security is an onerous task undertaken by National Defence College of India where senior officers from not only the Armed Forces but also from Civil Services and friendly foreign countries are endowed with background knowledge to make policy decisions related to national security.

The President said that in a democratic system like ours, various organs of the state must understand the strengths and limitations of each other. Political leadership and senior Civil Services officers must be conversant with the capabilities and limitations of the Defence forces. Similarly, Armed Forces officers need to understand the limitations and constitutional frame work under which the political set up and Civil Services function. However, both of them should be aware of the larger perspective of National Security in order to take informed decisions of vital importance. He expressed hope that the Course would make participants into more aware and well-informed individuals, who can make well reasoned decisions taking the country’s security perspectives into consideration. 

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President to launch ‘Imprint India’ tomorrow 
‘IMPRINT India’, a Pan-IIT and IISc joint initiative to develop a roadmap for research to solve major engineering and technology challenges in ten technology domains relevant to India will be launched by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee  tomorrow (November 5, 2015) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.  The launch will be done at a function being held as part of the Visitor’s Conference. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the IMPRINT India brochure and hand over the first copy to the President of India.  Union Minister of Human Resource Development Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani will also address the gathering. 

The idea of launching ‘IMPRINT India’ originated during the conference of Chairmen, Board of Governors and Directors of Indian Institutes of Technology convened by the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 22, 2014. It is based on the Prime Minister’s suggestion that research done by institutions of national importance must be linked with immediate requirements of the society at large. 

The objectives of this initiative is to  (1) identify areas of immediate relevance to society requiring innovation, (2) direct scientific research into identified areas, (3) ensure higher funding support for research into these areas and (4) measure outcomes of the research effort with reference to impact on the standard of living in the rural/urban areas.

            IMPRINT India will focus on ten themes with each to be coordinated by one IIT/IISc, namely:-

(a) Health Care - IIT Kharagpur,
(b) Computer Science and ICT – IIT Kharagpur,
(c) Advance Materials – IIT Kanpur,
(d) Water Resources and River systems – IIT Kanpur,
(e) Sustainable Urban Design – IIT Roorkee,
(f) Defence – IIT Madras,
(g) Manufacturing – IIT Madras,
(h) Nano-technology Hardware- IIT Bombay,
(i) Environmental Science and Climate Change – IISc, Bangalore and
(j) Energy Security – IIT Bombay. 

The ten coordinating institutions have done extensive consultations and arrived at specific themes in each area of research that has immediate social relevance.  IMPRINT India is being launched during the Visitor’s Conference so that wide discussion can be held amongst the academic community leading to further scientific collaboration between various institutions in these areas.  The top research community from across Central Universities, IITs, NITs, IISc, Bangalore, IISERs, IIITs, NIPERs, NIFT, IIEST, Shibpur, RGIPT, Rae Bareli, RGNIYD, Sreperumbudur, School of Planing and Architecture Bhopal and New Delhi and senior government officials  will attend the function when ‘IMPRINT India’ will be launched as well as the Visitor’s Conference where follow up discussions will be held.  

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President of India congratulates Mr. Jimmy Morales on his election as President of Guatemala 
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has congratulated His Excellency Mr. Jimmy Morales on his election as the President of Republic of Guatemala.

In his message to His Excellency Mr. Jimmy Morales, the President-elect of the Republic of Guatemala, the President has said, “It gives me great pleasure to felicitate you on your election as the next President of Guatemala.

India and Guatemala have traditionally shared warm and friendly bilateral relations – reflected in our fruitful cooperation in multilateral fora. The recent exchange of visits between our countries has generated further momentum in our bilateral cooperation – to which India attaches high importance. I am confident, Excellency, that our mutually beneficial ties will be further strengthened, with your contribution, towards achieving our shared goals of global peace and development.

Please accept, Excellency, my good wishes for your personal well-being and the success of your endeavours for the progress and prosperity of the friendly people of Guatemala”. 


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