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President addresses Arunachal NIT convocation

President Pranab Mukherjee (Right) lighting the lamp at the Ist Convocation of National Institute of Technology, Arunachal Pradesh on Friday. - UB Photos
 ITANAGAR, Nov 21 – Amid unprecedented security, President Pranab Mukherjee today attended the first convocation of the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Arunachal Pradesh at Yupia, 16 kms from the State capital, Itanagar.

Delivering the convocation address at the makeshift pandal at the NIT premises, the President said turning NITs into world-class engineering institutes calls for developing multiple linkages.

NITs have to actively engage with other institutes for research collaboration and sharing of best practices. They have to be more proactive in their interaction with the industry. Most NITs have an industry interface cell in place. The cell has to explore possibilities like sponsoring of chair positions by industry; drafting experts from industry in project guidance and curriculum design; and setting up incubation centres, laboratories and research parks, he said.

While citing PM Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative, he said the initiative aimed at making our country a manufacturing hub depends to a large extent on the deepening of this academia-industry alliance.

Mukherjee also said that research and innovation in NITs have to be given precedence in academic development. “Some of the steps, I feel, that require renewed focus are inter-disciplinary approach in course curricula and research, identifying the areas of core competency and nurturing centres of excellence, strengthening under-graduate research, and making research an integral part of the teaching-learning process,” he added.

Informing that a suggestion was made in the NIT Directors’ Conference that an MoU for exchange of students and faculty, materials and publications, and joint education and research activities could be negotiated and signed on behalf of all NITs in the North East with a consortium of institutions in Singapore, the President said such cooperation will provide a fillip to country’s “Look East” policy as well.

The President said that NITs have to also devise mechanisms to connect with their alumni, many of whom have excelled in their chosen field. They could be inducted in governance mechanisms, or utilised for business and project mentoring of students and in curriculum design.

On the occasion, the President also conferred the honorary doctorate of education on noted academician and vice chancellor of Royal University of Bhutan, Prof Dasho Pena Thinley.

Arunachal Pradesh Governor Lt Gen Nirbhay Sharma (Retd) and Chief Minister Nabam Tuki also addressed the convocation. Among others, Speaker Nabam Rebia, Chairman of Board of Governors Dr Gagan Prathap and NIT Director Prof CT Bhunia also shared the dais.

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