Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday said technology will play the biggest role in the post-Covid world and asked the graduating batch of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi not to consider themselves “unlucky” due to the pandemic, and instead make the most of their “first-mover advantage” in this new world.
The Prime Minister was virtually addressing the 51st convocation of the IIT Delhi — it was conducted in hybrid mode with a limited physical presence on campus and a widely shared online webcast.
A total of 2,019 students were awarded degrees on Saturday. One of three PhD students graduating this year from the campus is a woman.
“The post-Covid world is going to be very different and technology will play the biggest role in it. Till last year, nobody had thought that whether it is meetings or exams, viva or convocations, all would take a completely different form. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have become the working reality,” he said.
“You may be feeling your batch is not very lucky. I am sure you are asking yourself — did all this have to happen in our graduating year only? But, think of it differently. You have a first-mover advantage. You have more time to learn and adapt to the new norms emerging in the workplace and beyond. So, make most use of this,” he added.
PM Modi said Covid -19 had taught that “globalization is important but self-reliance is equally important”, and asked students to contribute to the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign.
He gave four mantras to students – “focus on quality; never compromise”, “ensure scalability; make your innovations work at a mass scale”, “assure reliability; build long-term trust in the market” and “bring in adaptability; be open to change and expect uncertainty as a way of life”.
“The country will give you ease of business, you just work for ease of living of the people of this country,” he said.
Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, who was also present on the occasion, praised IIT-D for developing the diagnostic assay which has made COVID-19 RT-PCR tests cheaper. He launched ‘eVIDYA – Enabling Virtual & Interactive-learning for Driving Youth Advancement’. Under the new initiative, online certificate programmes will be offered by IIT Delhi in different domains of Engineering, Technology, Science, Humanities and Management for Indian as well as international participants.
Pokhriyal also hailed the new National Education Policy. “The new National Education Policy has not only been the centre of the biggest deliberations in the world but it has also emerged as the biggest reform in the world,” he said.