Vice-President Naidu: IITs must help us prepare for future pandemics

Vice-President Naidu: IITs must help us prepare for future pandemics Photo Courtesy : Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
Pritha Roy Choudhury | Aug 17, 2020 - 2:22 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi turns 60 today. Attending its Diamond Jubilee celebrations virtually, Vice President M Venkaiyah Naidu asked the IITs to prepare for future pandemics like the current COVID-19 outbreak that has pushed classes and all celebrations online.

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“I am happy that the IITs across the country have taken up several projects relating to COVID-19 including the development of low-cost ventilators, PPEs, testing kits, sanitizers and other equipment apart from artificial intelligence. While fighting COVID-19, we should be better prepared to fight any future pandemic. And for that to happen there should be greater collaboration and synergy between experts from different domains. Focus on finding solutions to various problems faced by mankind from climate change to health issue,” said Vice President Naidu.

Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ also attended the online celebration. They unveiled IIT Delhi’s new logo and strategy documents. Part of the plan is to file over 200 patents in 2020 as against the 153 filed in 2019.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu spoke on research in general, calling upon the private sector and industry bodies to fund research liberally. “There should be a symbiotic relationship between educational institutions and industry,” he said.

NEP 2020

Praising the new National Education Policy (NEP 2020), Naidu said that it seeks to promote India as a global study destination “providing premium education at an affordable cost.”

He said that NEP 2020 will also help Indian institutions to improve their global ranking.

India has 65 percent of people below 35 years of age, stressing on converting the young population of the country into a skilled workforce, he said that the need of the hour is to “convert the vast pool of educational manpower into the highly skilled workforce in tune with the requirement of digitally driven, knowledge-based 21st-century need”. He added: “In fact we have the capability to not only meet the requirements in the country but many other nations particularly those with the ageing populations.”

He also called upon the educational institutions to initiate research programs to boost the rural economy through the development of sustainable technology since more than 50 percent of the population still depends on agriculture.

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