Text of the Vice-President’s Address at NIT, Hamirpur (excerpts)

I am grateful to you all for accommodating me because we have a time constraint. Helicopters can take off only up to a specific time but to be with you, I wouldn’t mind even taking the road route. 

Nothing succeeds in an institute without the support of staff members. I have seen, from the time I stepped in, they are very cordial and compassionate. Grateful to them, and most importantly, I am here because of all of you.

My dear students, imagine the herculean task I have before me. Shri Anurag Thakur has performed excellently, as he does in the Parliament also, in the field of sports.

Here as well, in the Constitutional endorsement of his capacity, what more can I say now?

So I remember a ghazal I am very fond of:

ग़ज़ल कहती है:

इतने हिस्सों में बंट गया मैं कि मेरे हिस्से में कुछ बचा ही नहीं!

We used to say that sky’s the limit. The Prime Minister acted in a manner suggesting the sky is not a limit. Now, we have gone beyond the sky, and today is a great day. Our Aditya L1 has entered the most critical phase of the Sun.

I have been extremely impressed by the motto of your Institute, ‘there is no substitute for hard work’ but then you have a challenge, ‘artificial intelligence’ and therefore I will be addressing some of the issues which I cannot address elsewhere.

I am fully alive with the situation that I am in front of  minds which are discerning, able and competent, that are at a level to use technology which we call Disruptive Technology and unless we cope with them, control them and regulate, then they will control us.

I would request the director and Shri Anurag Thakur ji. I will invite students of this prestigious institute to be my guests at Parliament, visit the new Parliament building, Bharat Mandapam, Yashobhoomi, Prime Minister’s Museum, and whatever else Anurag Thakur can suggest.

Boys and girls, Bismarck used to say, ‘let the winds of change blow’.

Germans are enormously talented people but they will be facing a setback in 2030. Setback will be in the form of Bharat which would overtake their economy, and we would be the third largest economy.

I will urge you to look beyond barriers. We must look beyond geographical boundaries and that is why, Bismarck says ‘let the winds of change blow’.  From that perspective, being the chairman of Indian Council for World Affairs. I would catalyze a Memorandum of Understanding between this Institute and Indian Council of World Affairs in next one month and that MoU will enable you to get some of the best minds of the world to interact with you here and maybe on occasions Indian Council on world affair will invite you in Delhi in Sapru house.

The subject,‘Role of Youth in Viksit Bharat @2047’, and the locale Dev Bhoomi, Land of Gods, so we are in perfect sitting to bestow attention on this. I am before the foot soldiers who will play critical role in realizing our dreams. They will ensure what Bharat will be, in what shape it will be when it attains centenary of the Independence @2047.

I am a product of education. I come from a village. I have faced all kinds of hardships. If not for scholarship, I may not have gone beyond my village and therefore I have no difficulty in asserting to you, education is the most important impactful transformational mechanism, education brings about equality as no other organ can do, no other methodology can do. Education cuts into inequities that are very painful to us. You are lucky to be getting it. 1/6th of humanity resides in this country with the best education. Make the most of it. Don’t miss the opportunity.

My young friends, you are Architects of Bharat-to-be. People of my age will be not there to see what Bharat will be @2047 but I have no doubt each one of you Boys and Girls will take Bharat @2047 to new heights.

When it comes to demographic advantage, India is possessed of it. It is possessed of it to the extent that 65 percent of our population is under 35.

Now we have prospects because of demographic dividends. Look at history, the countries that had demographic dividend in the 1980s and 90s have made great significant progress.

The progress was geometric, exponential and absolutely phenomenal. It is India’s century. India will perform for itself; India will perform for the world.

We are in Amrit Kaal. Thanks to the visionary leadership of the Prime Minister, we could have this amrit kaal and we all became conscious of it. We have a civilization of 5000 years. Look at our ethos and that being the situation, a series of steps has been taken that have made our Amrit Kaal as over Gaurav Kaal.

As a young mind, let me tell you, you must have a burning desire to make the difference. You must have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and trust me your learning doesn’t end with your degree. Your learning has to be throughout. Even in a river, when you stand, those who are involved in physics must know it, if you don’t have kadamtala, the sand under you will go and you will fall down. So to be at the same place also you have to learn and to go ahead you have to learn all the more.

We had a glorious past,going back to 5000 years which not many countries can claim to have. I am making reference to some of the developed countries and the most developed. There is no wisdom which the world can point out today, which is not a repository in our Vedas and Upanishads. We are an ancient civilization where the flourishing trade was controlling the world, we were known as Sone Ki Chidiya.

The gold of this country was airlifted physically to be placed to two banks in Switzerland so that we could sustain our financial viability and credibility. That time foreign exchange was fluctuating between one million and two million dollars, and now it is over 6 billion and there are weeks when the jump is over 4-5 billions. That is a big change that has been accomplished.

In the early part of the century we had to suffer scams of an unimaginable dimension in the country. They bled the economy of this country, they ravaged the ecosystem of this country, corruption was in full play.

In 2012-13, our economy was labeled in the world as “fragile”.  We were a burden on the global economy. Imagine a country home to 1/6th of humanity being a burden on the global economy and look at where we have come.

We have traversed such a long distance, after overcoming a difficult terrain full of challenges. We are already the 5th largest global economy we are on the way to becoming five trillion global economy in US dollars and by 2030 as indicated by the Honorable minister, Germany and Japan will be behind us in terms of global economy.

But then our benchmark is not to be at top. Our benchmark is to be so much on the top that the second number can’t be seen behind us and that is the challenge to us @2047.

There was a time when India’s voice in the world was just not heard, just ignored and look at the first address of Indian prime minister at United Nations. He speaks in Hindi and tells the world,  how can this Institute function if one sixth of Humanity has not been kept in driver’s seat and then he used the United Nations to declare to the entire world that yoga- health mechanism which is salubrious for one and all, which has come to us from ages- was adopted by the world as International Yoga Day at his call. The largest number of countries of the world in shortest time recognised June 21 as International Yoga Day.

I must tell you four distinct things of G20:

  • Imagine all world leaders were greeted by the Prime Minister and look at the back drop- Konark Sun Temple! they walk through a Gallery where they saw India’s 5000 years civilization growth ethos.
  • The initiative taken by Indian Prime Minister, the European Union was already part of G20. Prime Minister made it a point and the African Union was included in G20: what an equaliser!
  • Global South constitute more than 60% of the global GDP but voice did not count; our prime minister took successful initiative and became the voice of global south, held important conferences and we have now in the world very stabilising factor.
  • We have a corridor now, from our land from our sea and Middle East which is already there; it will open vistas of economic opportunities for you!

Our Constitution was plagued by Article 370, and the draconian Article 35A.Framers of the Constitution called it temporary, but the nation had suffered it as if it was permanent. It was finally undone- a historic step! And look at the change! G20’s most important meeting took place in Srinagar. World leaders were there. Jammu and Kashmir now has tourism to an extent which is remarkable!Most importantly, a group of people thought that the destiny of the people of J&K was nestled in their hands- that concept is over. A big change.

Your silence at critical issues will resonate in your ears because those who observe silence for a long time when they should have been speaking out will suffer in silence forever. Bharat cannot afford to do it because global stability and peace and harmony depend on Bharat

I know the power of womanhood, an enormous power. It was a gratifying moment for me when I was invited yesterday for an NCC program in the national capital territory of Delhi. 39% of girls are there.When we talk of Chandrayaan 3, we talk of rocket women, when you talk of fighter pilots we talk of women. Every aspect of life which makes us proud, the womanhood contribution is great. If you look around the globe, look at the participation of our women in the global corporate system.

A concern  that has been addressed very effectively is concern of the last in the room. Think within yourself, could you ever imagine that in this country there will be toilet in every household? we have it.Could you ever imagine that 100 million poor households जहां फुकनी मारकर हमारी मां दादी नानी बहन बेटी खाना बनाती थी आंखों में आंसू आते थे will get gas connection could you ever imagine that there will be water available in a tap in a household? I have seen in my own village women traveling a distance from 4 to 5 km from the well on a head pitcher getting water for us. Could you ever imagine that more than 250  Million  houses are made available by planning and major part is fructified where women is owner?These big changes have come on one count: strong leadership,action oriented leadership, proper Vision, full mission, right execution, attended with expedition.

Boys and girls, I am making a very serious statement now and this is for your consumption so that you can catalyze a movement for it, the most dangerous thing is an informed mind, a recognized mind, a mind that has held a position of a power, a mind who is supposed to know everything, a mind in whom there is a faith on the people that he can say nothing is wrong, that he abuses authority and monetizes the ignorance of people for political gain. Such a type of narrative should be crushed at the initial stage.

Let me tell you as indicated before, in educational institutions there are only back benches, there are no back benchers. Those who are in the last row are as important as in the front. Take initiative and try to contribute the nation.

Disruptive Technology, ordinary students are not concerned with it, but those before me are concerned with it. You have to address artificial intelligence, internet of things, machine learning and that is why you have to keep in mind that India is one of the few countries in single digit who have taken initiative with respect to Quantum computing. There has been Allocation of Rs. 6000 crores for the Quantum computing Commission.

In the green hydrogen mission we are one of the seven countries in the world who are working on it. it has an enormous potential and on an estimate by 2030 there may be 8 lakh crores investment and 6 lakhs job in energy. focus on machine learning, so very important!

To facilitate governance, we had on August 15, 1947, a tryst with destiny but when it came to the GST regime unfolding, there was another midnight joint session of parliament- a tryst with modernity. Goods and services tax became good and simple tax; everyone is happy now we have to bring about the change which is good for the nation.

I use this platform to send a message to corporate leaders, to business tycoons, those engaged in the industries, chambers of industry, in business and trade: please hand hold institutions! Research and development is driven only by corporates in the world where the countries are developed.You must focus on our institutions! Our institutions, our boys and girls have much greater potential and intellect than others! If there is intellect available outside of Institution it is because of the Indian component.

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MS/RC

(Release ID: 1993831)