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English rendering of PM’s address at the convocation ceremony of IIT Delhi

Namaste,

My cabinet colleagues, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank ji, Sanjay Dhotre ji, Chairman of Board of Governors, Dr. R. Chidambaram ji,  IIT Delhi Director, Professor V. Ramgopal Rao ji, members of the Board and the Senate, faculty members, parents, young friends, ladies and gentlemen!!

Today is a very important day in the world of technology. Today, the country is getting more than 2,000 technology experts through IIT Delhi. On this important occasion, I extend my best wishes to the students, who are getting the degrees, specially their parents, their guides and faculty members.

Today is the 51st Convocation of IIT Delhi and this great institution is also celebrating its diamond jubilee. IIT Delhi has also prepared its vision document for this decade. My best wishes to you for the diamond jubilee year and your goals for this decade and assure you full support from the Indian government.

Today is the birth anniversary of great scientist Dr. C.V. Raman. It is a very auspicious occasion that this convocation coincides with his birthday. I also salute him respectfully.  His noble works will continue to inspire all of us, specially my young scientist friends.

Friends,

This crisis of corona has brought about a major change in the world. Post-Covid world is going to be very different and technology will have an important role in it. Nobody had imagined a year ago that the nature of meetings, exams, viva or convocations will change. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are replacing the Working Reality.

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 work place and beyond. So, make most use of this. And, think of the brighter side too. You are also a lucky batch. You were able to enjoy Rendezvous in your final year on campus. See how different things were last October and this October. You will look back fondly at: All nights in the library and reading room before the exams. Late night paratha at the night-mess, the coffee and muffin between lectures. I am also told IIT-Delhi has two types of friends: College friends. Hostel video games friends. You will surely miss both.

Friends,

Before this, I also got an opportunity to attend the convocations of IIT Madras, IIT Bombay and IIT Guwahati in a similar way and at some places had the opportunity to go there. In all these places, I found this similarity that everywhere some innovation is taking place. This is a great force for the success of the Self-Reliant India Campaign. Covid-19 has taught one thing to the world. Globalization is important but Self-Reliance is also equally important.

Friends,

Self-Reliant India campaign is an important mission to provide many new opportunities to the youth of the country, technocrats and tech-enterprise leaders. Today the most favourable environment has been created so that they can freely implement and market their ideas and innovations.  Today, India is committed to facilitate ease of doing business to its youths so that these youths can bring about change in the lives of the crores of countrymen through their innovations. The country will provide ease of doing business and all the arrangements. You do only one thing to provide ease of living to the poorest of the poor citizens through your mastery, talent, experience and innovations.

This is the same approach behind major reforms that have been carried out recently in almost all the sectors.  For the first time, there are countless possibilities for innovation and new start-ups in the agriculture sector. For the first time, private investment avenues have opened in the space sector. Two days ago, there has also been a major reform for the ease of doing business in the BPO sector. The government has simplified and has removed almost all the restrictions regarding Other Service Provider (OSP) guidelines.  In a way, there will not be any government presence. Everybody has been trusted. This will greatly reduce the compliance burden and different obligations of the BPO industries. Besides, many requirements, including bank guarantees, have been waived off for the BPO industries. Not only this, several laws which used to prevent the tech industry from work from home or work from anywhere have been done away with. This will make the IT sector globally competitive and will provide more opportunities to the young talent.

Friends,

Realising your needs and the needs of the future, today, old rules are being changed and fresh decisions are being taken. My thinking is that the rules and regulations of the last century cannot determine the future of the next century. New century, new resolutions. New century, new customs. New century, new laws.  Today, India is among those countries where the corporate tax is the lowest.  More than 50,000 Start-ups have been launched since the Start-up India campaign. It is the result of the efforts of the government that patents in the country have increased four times. There has been a five time increase in trademark registration. Along with Fintech, start-ups associated with agro, defence and medical sectors are now growing rapidly.Over the years, more than 20 Unicorns have been formed by Indians. The way the country is making progress, I am sure that these numbers will increase further in the coming one or two years and maybe youth like you who are passing out from here today provide a new momentum.

Friends,

So many facilities are being provided to Start-ups today from incubation to funding. A fund worth 10,000 crore rupees has been earmarked for funding. Several facilities like tax exemption for three years, self-certifications and easy exit are being provided to the Start-ups. We are prepared to invest more than one lakh crore rupees under the National Infrastructure Pipeline. This will help in creating the state-of-the-art infrastructure in the country which will meet the needs of the present as well as the future.

Friends,

Today, the country is working in new ways to achieve the maximum potential of every region. When you will leave from here and work in a new place, then you will also have to start with a new mantra. This mantra is — Focus on quality; never compromise. Ensure scalability; make your innovations work at a mass scale. Assure reliability; build long-term trust in the market. Bring in adaptability; be open to change and expect uncertainty as way of life. If we work on these basic principles, the brightness will be reflected in your identity as well as in Brand India. I am saying this because you are the biggest brand ambassadors of Brand India. Whatever you will do will give a global identity to the country’s products. Whatever you will do will give a momentum to the country’s efforts. The efforts being made for the poor in the villages will be realized only through your dedication and innovation.

Friends,

How technology can be the most powerful way of our governance to reach the poorest of the poor, the country has done it over the years. All the facilities, be it a house, electricity, toilet, gas connection or water, are being provided through data and space technology.  Today, facilities like birth certificate and life proof certificate are being provided digitally.  The country is making giant strides to provide digi-lockers, digital health ID to make the life of the common man easier through the trinity of Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM).  Technology has made the last mile delivery efficient and has reduced the scope of corruption. India is far ahead of several countries regarding digital transactions. Many developed countries of the world want to adopt Indian platforms like UPI.

Friends,

Recently, the government has launched a new scheme in which technology is playing an important role. This is Svamitva yojana. Under this, residential and land property in villages are being mapped for the first time. Earlier, it could be done only through human interface. Therefore, doubts, partiality and apprehensions were also natural. You will be happy because you are from technology background that this mapping is being done in the villages through drone technology. Villagers are also fully satisfied with it which is being carried out with their support. This shows how much common citizens of India have faith in technology.

Friends,

The requirement of technology and the trust of Indians in it lights up your future. There are numerous opportunities for you in the country and only you can provide solutions to the several challenges. There are several areas where a lot of work can be done – whether it is post disaster management during floods and cyclone, there should be effective technology how to maintain the ground water level, there should be solar power generation and technology related to battery, technology of telemedicine and remote surgery, Big data analysis, etc.

Friends,

I can put forward a lot many requirements of the country before you. These requirements can be met through new innovations, through your ideas, energy and efforts. Therefore, I have a special request to all of you to understand the needs of the country. I request you to connect with the changes that are taking place at the ground level and the aspirations of the common man for self-reliant India. And your alumni network will be very useful in this.

Friends,

Anyway, it is very easy for all of you to organize alumni meets. Students of other colleges have to travel a long journey to go to their colleges for alumni meet. But you have a very easy option.  You can organize your alumni meet any time over the weekend at a short notice at bay area, at the Silicon Valley, at the Wall Street or it can be held at any government secretariat because you are present everywhere. You have a very large presence. You will find a strong network of IIT graduates in India’s Start-up capitals whether it is Mumbai, Pune or Bengaluru.  This is your success and your influence.

Friends,

You are all students with exceptional abilities. After all, you passed one of the toughest exams, the J-E-E, at the age of 17-18! And then you came to IIT. But, there are two things that will enhance your ability even more. One is flexibility. Other is humility. By flexibility, I refer to the possibility to: Stand out And, Fit in. At no point of your life must you shed your identity. Never be a ‘Lite Version’ of someone or something. Be the original version. Champion whatever values you believe in. At the same time, never hesitate from fitting into a team. Individual efforts have their limits. The way ahead lies in teamwork. Teamwork brings completeness. The second is humility. You must be right-fully proud of your success, your achievements. Very few people have done what you have. This should make you even more down to earth.

Friends,

It is important that one keeps challenging oneself and continues to learn each day. It is also important that you treat yourself as a student for life. Never think that what you know is enough.

It is said in our scriptures — सत्यं ज्ञानं अनन्तं ब्रह्म। It means that knowledge and fact are infinite like Brahma. The new innovations that you develop are extension of fact and knowledge. Therefore, there is immense potential of your innovations for the country, the countrymen, the poor of the villages and self-reliant India.

I congratulate and extend my best wishes to you once again with the belief that your knowledge, expertise and potential should be of help to the country, your new journey of life should start according to the aspirations of your parents and education given by your teachers should be helpful to you at every stage of your successful life. As far as the Indian government is considered, India is proud of its demography and if our demography is filled with IITians then it adds value in the world. I conclude with many thanks to you, your families and your teachers for starting a new life journey with this ability.

Many many best wishes!

 

 

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