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President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday urged IIT-Delhi alumni to give back to the society by helping the less privileged students of the premier institute by undertaking short teaching stints and sponsoring scholarships.
The President, while speaking at the IIT-Delhi campus during its 48th convocation, said all great universities of the world had a deep and thriving engagement between old students and the institution. “They invite the alumni to contribute, not merely in terms of financial assistance but more in terms of knowledge sharing and time,” Kovind said.
In case of the IIT-Delhi alumni group, he said, this could be done in several ways. “Many of those who studied here in the past were fortunate to have their world-class education heavily subsidised by the tax payer. There is a moral obligation to pay back, and to help those less privileged – in whichever manner the individual prefers,” Kovind said.
He suggested it would be best if this process of giving back “enriches education and scholarship at the grassroots of our society”. “The obligation is on the IIT-Delhi authorities to involve and invite alumni, many of whom are well placed in other universities or in industry, to come back and teach here, even if for short periods or for specific courses. If procedures need to be simplified to achieve this, then efforts must be made in that direction,” the President said.
Kovind stressed that “all of us must strive to give back to society in our own little way” as he also asked the premier institute to partner with a needy school and help its children and faculty.
The president, who is a Visitor to the institute, said he was happy to know that IIT-Delhi “now has more post-graduate students than at the undergraduate level”. “This is a healthy sign. We are moving towards research-based learning and churning out products and technologies for nation building. I am happy to note that researchers at IIT-Delhi have invented and developed products that have contributed to the well being of fellow citizens,” Kovind said.
The President also lauded the faculty of the institute and said the success of the graduating students was “also a tribute to the faculty of IIT-Delhi, which is among the best our country has to offer”. “They (faculty) have nurtured raw youngsters into mature professionals. My good wishes to all of them,” he signed off.