Published: 30th September 2019
PM Modi makes IIT Madras graduates give standing ovation to 'unseen' support staff
The Prime Minister also spoke at the Singapore-India Hackathon 2019 and visited the IIT Madras Research Park before he addressed the convocation
Congratulating the outgoing batch of students at the 56th convocation of IIT-Madras, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on September 30, said that he sees a new India and a young India in the students. He also thanked the teachers, parents and non-teaching staff for their support and urged the students to contribute to their motherland, no matter whether they go.
"I can see the dreams of the future in your eyes. I can see the destiny of India in your eyes. Your parents have sacrificed and struggled to bring you to this juncture. They have given you your dream so that you can take pride in your work. This pride is also reflected on your teachers," said the PM. "They have created, through their untiring efforts, not just good engineers but good citizens. I would also like to highlight the role of the support staff — the silent and behind-the-scenes people. In your success, they too have a role to play. Before moving on, I urge my students to applaud all of them with a standing ovation," he said.
Modi was all praise for IIT Madras. "Friends, this is a remarkable institution. I am told that here the mountains move and the rivers are stationary. We are in the state of Tamil Nadu which has a special distinction — it is home to the oldest language in the world, Tamil. And it is also home to the newest language in India — the IIT Madras lingo," quipped Modi.
Carrying on the light-hearted banter the PM said, in a playful tone, "There is a lot you will miss (once you graduate). You will surely miss Saarang and Shaastra and your wingmates. But there are a few things you will not miss for sure — for one, you can now buy expensive shoes. You are lucky to pass out of such a fantastic institute at a time when the world is looking at India as a land of unique opportunities."
Recounting his visit to the Howdy Modi conclave and UNGA, he said, "I have just returned from America where I met various heads of state, innovators, investors and business leaders. One thing was common in all these meetings —optimism and confidence in new India and the youth. The Indian community has made a mark for itself all over the world. Especially in science, technology and innovation. Who is powering this? A lot of them are your IIT seniors. Thus you are making brand India stronger in the global scene. I was speaking to the civil servants who cleared the UPSC. The number of IIT graduates is surprisingly high. You are also making India a more developed place. Many from IIT s join the corporate as well — helping India proper. I see the foundation of the 21st century resting on three crucial pillars of innovation, teamwork and technology. Each of them compliments each other."
He spoke at the Singapore-India Hackathon earlier in the day, where he said that innovators from two countries are working together, focused on a single goal to help the world. "This is the power of innovation, teamwork and technology. This does not benefit a single person but everyone. Today as India aspires to become a $5 trillion economy your innovation, aspiration and application of technology will fuel this dream. It has become the bedrock of India's big leap," Modi added.
IIT Madras is the best example, said Modi, of how a decade-old institution can transform to provide the education suited for the 21st century. The IIT Madras Research Park is unique and the first such attempt in the country, added the PM. "I saw efforts in electric mobility, internet of things, health care, AI and more. All these start-ups should make unique products so that we can earn a name in the world in the future. India's innovation is a great blend of economics and utility. IIT Madras is born in that tradition — researchers take up the toughest problems and come up with a solution that helps all," he said. "I am told, students here intern with start-ups and write codes from their rooms and that too empty stomach and no sleep. I hope this continues — except for the hunger and insomnia," opined the PM.
The PM said that there is a need to establish a robot ecosystem for Research and development in our country. "You are introduced to AI, robotics and all advanced tech at a very early stage now. We are working to set up Atal Tinkering Labs across the country. Once the students come to institutions like this and want to work on their own idea they can use he labs. The next challenge is to find a market for your start-up. The start-up India programme is to help you solve these. We also have the Prime Minister's Research Fellowship. It is because of these that India is one of the top three start-up friendly countries in the world," he said. "These rise is being powered from Tier-2 or Tier-3 and even rural students. Remember the time you prepared for IIT? It seemed impossible at the time, right? But here you are. So don't lose courage ever. The beauty of human endeavours lies in possibilities. You will keep evolving and become a better version of yourself," added Narendra Modi.
He reminded the students that there are great offers waiting for them once they walk out of this door but no matter where they work or live, "Please keep in mind the needs of your motherland. Not only it is your social responsibility, but it also makes immense business sense. Can you find a cost-effective and innovative way to recycle water? Find an alternative for plastic." The diseases are also changing. We have more lifestyle diseases now. "But technology and data science can work together to solve this. Will IIT student stake this up? I promote yoga and exercise. The nature of your job makes you vulnerable to diseases. So, actively participate in the Fit India movement," urged the PM. "There are two types of people. Some just exist and some live. It is up to you whom you want to be. The best way to live your life is to know, learn and to love for others. This convocation indicated the end of your current course but not your education which is a continuous process," concluded the PM.