“The northeastern region is the focal point of India’s Act East Policy and gateway to connect with the southeast Asian countries. The foundation of the relationship with these countries with us has been culture, commerce, connectivity and capacity. Now education is going to be the new medium of engagement with these countries. IIT Guwahati can be a major centre of this, which is going to give a new identity to northeast,” Modi said in his virtual address to the IIT Guwahati’s twenty second convocation.
The PM pinned high hopes that IIT Guwahati will play a key role in beyond boundary expansion from the northeast. He said that the northeast has huge potential in solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric energy as well as rice, tea, bamboo as resources. Modi appealed to the young graduates to explore how innovation can boost the tourism sector in the diverse northeastern region of the country, known for its exquisite natural beauty.
“Here in the northeast, we have the biodiversity and immense sources of traditional knowledge. Transmission of science and technology has been linked with traditions, passing from one generation to the other. Can we build new technology with this fusion!,” he asked.
Modi suggested IIT Guwahati to set up a centre for Indian knowledge system, through which he said that the premier technology institute can offer invaluables to the northeast as well as the country, and the world.
In the disaster-prone region of northeast, he urged IIT Guwahati to come up with a centre for disaster management and risk reduction with expertise to manage the disasters- natural and industrial- often encountered by the region and turn it into blessings.
Modi said that the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 will make India a global leader in science and technology and it features policies that were in the wishlist of the students. “The flexibility given in the NEP in choosing subjects, multiple entry and exit options will benefit the students. Technology will become an integral part of education,” Modi said.
He said that the country is heading towards such an ecosystem where the youth will learn from technology and will innovate new technology for teaching. Modi said that the National Research Foundation will coordinate with all funding agencies, irrespective of disciplines- whether it’s science or humanities. “The potential research works which have the scope of practical implementation will be recognized. For this, coordination and close linkage will be established between the government and the industry,” the PM said.
He appealed to the PhD recipients to make research a habit and part of the thought process. “Knowledge knows no boundaries. National Education Policy advocates opening up the education sector. The goal is to set up campuses of foreign universities in the country so that our students can get the global exposure,” Modi said, emphasizing on promoting research collaboration and student exchange between the Indian and foreign universities.
“The credits acquired by our students in foreign universities can now get counted in the institutions of the country. NEP will establish India as a global education destination. Our high performing institutions will be encouraged to set up campuses in the foreign countries,” he said.
Assam Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank , Union Minister of State for Education, Sanjay Dhotre and other dignitaries were present in the virtual event.