Dr B L Deekshatulu, the Chairman , Board of Governors ,Members of the Board of Governors, Prof T Srinivasa Rao, Director of the Institute, Members of the Senate and Faculty, Award and Degree Recipients,Distinguished Guests ,and Ladies and Gentlemen
Convocation is a joyous occasion to celebrate the reaching of a milestone in the form of recognition of a hard earned degree by our young citizens and future leaders. It is also a solemn occasion when the Chief Guest is expected to share his views with a message on what lies ahead in further academic or professional life for the degree recipients.
To deliver a convocation address on such an occasion is a privilege given to a few. I am grateful to the Institute for doing me this honour. First and foremost, may I congratulate all the degree recipients and the award winners on their noteworthy achievements.Let this milestone be the harbinger of many new ones to come.
Degree recipients :you are very privileged in this country to receive higher education at this institute of national importance . Today , the huge Indian economy ,being the 2nd most rapidly growing one in the world ,offers you phenomenal opportunities for pursuing higher studies, or for taking up a professional responsibility. Whatever be your choice, your engagement with the future is going to be very competitive ,challenging and demanding in the rapidly evolving and changing era of Knowledge and Mind power.India is one of the major beneficiary of this Knowledge power.which has moved the country into a trillion dollar globalised economy over the last two decades. The 5- M’s of Money, ,Materials,Manpower, Machinery and Marketing of the old economy are now being dominated by the 6th M of Mind and Knowledge power .You will undoubtedly be required to play some role in this evolving system.
What is Knowledge Power ?
Science is knowledge- power based on data and relationships covering vast areas of information derived from observations, analysis,and manipulation of natural phenomena .Technology is the application of scientific or knowledge power through best engineering practices in order to achieve a specific purpose of utility by creating and changing things and processes
The concept and meaning of Knowledge has undergone extraordinary changes in recent times.. In simple terms, Knowledge means “to know” Traditionally, Knowledge is judiciously distilled information extracted from observations /analysis of nature / natural phenomena, concepts, beliefs, perceptions, judgments etc.In the Knowledge Era ,it is an integrated power to create/innovate usable and exploitable information to provide new solutions for human needs.Consequently , Knowledge is now a convergence of multidimensional basic Sciences (including social sciences), Technologies, Engineering, Manufacturing, Marketing, Management, etc. And , the Knowledge Power is creativity through human resources, innovation through R&D and capital through IPR . Some management gurus would like to define the Prosperity (E)of a nation by a version of the well-known Einstein equation, E= M C2 ( where C is creativity and M is the no of creative workers)
In view of these definitions ,“translational” , and “integrative”are the new keywords for creation , dissemination, and assimilation of knowledge. These fanciful terms are not just the creation of management gurus. These concepts are already beginning to impact our educational and professional systems which will play a defining role in what you do in your future career .
Creation of Knowledge :
The power of knowledge is intimately connected with our educational system and the teaching-learning as well as research and development processes. Academic institutions which continue to teach and teach only , and that too by what is called a “broadcasting method” generally employed by an old- fashioned teacher are becoming increasingly irrelevant and obsolete . A good academic institution has to provide an ecology for a student to learn what he/she wants to learn, learn to learn creatively, learn to do something useful with the knowledge ,and learn to be a responsible member of the society.What makes an IITian tick is an often asked question.. Shocking though it may appear to be , Indian Institutes of Technology donot teach Technology, or, for that matter, not much of hard core engineering either. What they teach are strong fundamentals which provide tools and inspiration to make a student not only learn but also learn to learn, learn to solve problems, learn to work together as a team , and learn to create knowledge .
One of the most satisfying part of higher education is the creation of knowledge through research and development in all types of physical , chemical , electrical and electronic sciences, engineering and technology. Today ,knowledge is expanding at an exponential rate. Therefore , pursuit of R&D has never been so exciting.The present frontiers of science and technology are literally creating newer and multidimensional frontiers .As an example, the ever -expanding telecom revolution is the result of the confluence of micro- and nano-electronics and photonics , information sciences, pure mathematics,computers ,etc.An example of integrational revolution sweeping the world is the magical name of Nanotechnology. Never in the history of science and technology has so much euphoria and hype been created by the word “Nanotechnology” among scientists of varied disciplines, educationists, science policy designers and makers, funding agencies and even politicians .Infact,Nanotechnology is being projected by science policy makers as the solution to all the problems of humanity Much of the hype is based on false myths.that it is a new, safe and cheap technology.Nanotechnolgy is absolutely not a new field. Nor is it cheap or safe unless suitable measures are taken for the purpose after considerablr R&D. Some of us have spent our lifetime for the last 50 years in developing this field which has made possible the present day computers , telecom services,nano-analytical instruments ,among a host of other commonly used technologies.What is new is the more scientifically rigorous and precise way the nanotechnology of nanometric size materials is being pursued today. The newly developed nano- analytical tools allow one to literally see the building blocks of matter , namely atoms and molecules,both living and non-living. It is possible to create a variety of matter in nanometric sizes in various shapes and forms of thin-films,wires and fibres,and powders. Such nanomatter can be further functionalized and tailored to yield designer materials for very specific applications. Almost all the electronic and photonic devices and gadgets in common use today are the products of this technology. One can now manipulate single atoms, single electrons, single spins ,single photons , single phonons,etc..It is now possible to see the living cells and the working of proteins in these cells .The possibility of ab-initio creation of living cells in laboratory is no more a very distant dream. Biosciences and biomedical sciences are one of the most important beneficiary of nanotechnology.But ,perhaps the most significant development is that life scientists, physical and chemical scientists, engineers , and technologists have now come together to shake hands and create a new multidisciplinary frontier in the Knowledge Era . I am sure some of you will be attracted to this frontier in your higher studies.
Creators and Disseminators of Knowledge :
Being the creators,innovators and disseminators of Knowledge,academics are one of the most important pillars of the evolving Knowledge Society.Teaching higher education is a very noble,respectable, and rewarding profession.This is one profession in which the more you give ,the more you get back to grow more.Psychic rewards are more important in life than financial ones.There is a great demand for qualified , competent and committed faculty in technical institutions. India produces hardly 1000 PhDs and around 5000 MTechs in engineering disciplines every year There exist over 30,000 vacancies for postgraduate faculty in the country.And ,yet, we know that very few of the degree recipients from premier institutions will opt for a teaching career.Ask your- self :who will teach the next generation of your children ? I hope some of you will ponder over this question and will decide to join teaching profession.
Entrepreneurship Challenge :
The shining example of
the trillion dollar economies created and nurtured by
the innovative machines of the
Ethical Values :
The Knowledge era has sharpened our focus on ethical issues in science , engineering and technology. Ethics is the science of moral rules and principles.Personal and societal ethics are fundamental to any civilised society. Ethical values are central to the creation of scientific knowledge A professional scientist/engineer/technologist is expected to to have personal ethical values of Integrity, Honesty ,Loyalty, Respect , Justice ,Compassion,Commitment,and Competence. He/She is expected to contribute to the progress and well-being of society in a sustainable environment through creation and dissemination of knowledge, and by using S&T knowledge and skills to develop technologies , products and services, consistent with an accepted ethical code of conduct. Professional morality ensures that the privilege of the profession is used to create individual and group excellence. It assures collective responsibility and benefits the organization by one’s service. Successful organizations are those, which clearly define professional codes of ethics and conduct and bind each individual to these codes of practice.
Now that Knowledge is a marketable and saleable commodity , the intellectual property rights of global innovators and inventors need to be protected.As a result, globalized economies and technologies demand adherence to internationally acceptable ethical values and code of conduct in the emerging Knowledge Era. Let us be reminded that :
“ History of the world civilizations shows that societies have risen to a higher level not through mechanical or technological efficiencies but by practicing sound moral and ethical values”
( Quoted from Gita & Management by Swami Bodhinanda)
Lifestyle Values ;
Lifestyle values have a major impact on what heights one achieves in one’s career. Simple and commonplace though these are, our young degree recipients need to be reminded over and over again. I take this opportunity to focus on a few of such values.
1. Be Yourself ;
You know what you are today. But , you don’t know what you will be tomorrow. Project yourself as what you are today , and what your strengths and weaknesses are. Keep in mind that no human being is perfect enough to have all the good qualities.Be honest to yourself and to your profession.
2. Be Prepared for Change of Life :
For a successful life , continous generation of intellectual and creative energies are essential requirements in the rapidly changing world of knowledge . Multi-tasking in a multi-dimensional knowledge environ demands a commitment to life-long learning . which means that you be prepared to be a learner all your life
3. Work Hard :
There is no substitute for hard work , particularly which makes you perspire in achieving success. Perspire and you will inspire others.Whatever you do , do it with passion and commitment, or else do not do it at all.
4. Be Organised, Disciplined and Focused:
In some appropriate words of wisdom of Harry Emerson Fosdick :
”No horse gets anywhere unless he is harnessed.No
stream or gas drives anything unless it is confined. No
5. Be Ethical in your Life Experiences and Profession :
Knowledge workers apply science and technology for progress and prosperity of society The privilege of the profession demands unconditional adherence to defined codes of practice and to its moral and ethical values.
6. Respect your Colleagues :
Working together as a symphony orchestra requires an organized team work .You must accept that everybody in an organization or a group has an important role to play, and as such none is low or useless.To get the best out of your colleagues, treat all with due respect and inculcate the spirit of a team work.
7. Be a Problem Solver :
To be negative in your attitude and perception does not require much of intelligence.On the other hand , to be positive in pursuit of solving a problem in your workplace requires courage ,mature analysis, and high intellectual inputs.Create solutions rather than problems.And , donot compete with our babudum so famous for wrapping others in red tape and corruption.
8. Lead from the Front ;
As and when you have an opportunity to head a group of colleagues, lead the group from the front by setting an example yourself. Donot expect others to do what you are not prepared to do yourself.
9. Be Transparent :
Honesty of purpose and transparency in what you say and what you do are one and the the same trait of a person of integrity.Manipulations by an individual for whatever purpose invariably get exposed and create distrut and disharmony in your functions
10. Be Punctual :
Not keeping time or practicing elastic time in your workplace or any other activity is plain elemental discourtesy to others.Punctuality also means completing your reports and assignments , and reaching your goals on time. .Remember, punctuality inspires satisfaction and spirituality, and raises your professional esteem in the eyes of others working with you.
May I conclude by wishing all the degree recipients a bright,meaningful and fruitful professional career which will make your almamater and the country proud.
- JAI HIND -