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Pranab Mukherjee addresses UPES convocation

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Pranab Mukherjee @ UPES convocation
(IBNS) : Indian President Pranab Mukherjee addressed the Eleventh Convocation of the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES) on Monday, Aug 26, 2013.

Following is the text of the President's address on the occasion:

It gives me great pleasure to be here today for the Eleventh Convocation of the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), which is a premier institute for professional education in our country. I thank the University management for inviting me to be a part of this beautiful occasion. I am truly overwhelmed by the lush surroundings of the University Campus.

Established ten years ago, UPES is India's first energy university, running fifty two specialized programmes in the fields of oil and gas, power, infrastructure, electronics, logistics, information technology and international business. I compliment this unique abode of higher learning for its efforts at producing highly trained and competent manpower for national development.

Uttarakhand recently suffered from massive flood and landslide that resulted in loss of large number of precious human lives. Many people suffered from heavy damage to property. I urge the adequate mobilization of all possible resources in rebuilding the lives and hopes of the people. In times of adversity, we should never let go the indomitable human spirit for survival and rejuvenation.

Friends: Convocation is a very important event in academic calendar. This day marks the culmination of the formative phase of an individual. It also signals the beginning of another phase - a long journey with a much bigger task ahead. I congratulate all the graduating students who have toiled hard to achieve success in rigorous education streams.India is an aspiring nation. Its forward march must be spearheaded by the youth of our country. An awakening of the minds is necessary. Remember that you are amongst the brightest young people in India.

The governance of our country and issues of national importance should excite you. Read, analyze and formulate views on them. A healthy democracy is marked by informed participation. Inform yourself and inform others. Help the nation create better citizens who understand their rights and responsibilities.

Friends, India is in the midst of a major demographic transition. 12 million people are added to our working age population annually. Within a decade, we can boast of having the world's largest workforce, which will account for two-third of our population. We must make this demographic dividend count. We have to equip our youth with capacity and expertise. As per a survey, only 7 per cent Indians of working age receive vocational training.

A majority receive only non-formal training. Large scale formal vocational training is required for developing a capable workforce.The centrality of high economic growth for a developing country like ours needs no emphasis. Our average economic growth per year during the Eleventh Plan period was 8.0 per cent. We have envisaged growing at this level during the Twelfth Plan period also.

Though our economy is challenged by global factors in the short term, we must feel confident that we will be able to overcome these hurdles. I have confidence in the youth of the country that they will overcome all hurdles. Our economic progress will depend on how well we marshal crucial growth centres like the energy sector.

India is the fourth biggest consumer of energy in the world, after US, China and Russia. To sustain high levels of consumption, our energy resources are inadequate. Energy Intensity, which is a measure of energy efficiency of an economy, indicates that India uses more energy to produce one unit of GDP, than nations like UK, Germany, Japan and US.

To achieve a high growth rate while meeting the energy needs of the population poses a challenge to us. It calls for higher energy production and for devising measures that promote energy efficiency. We must explore alternative energy models to reduce our dependence on conventional sources.

A greater intensity of science and technology in the energy sector is required today. There is need for domain knowledge, for developing capabilities and strengthening systems through innovation. Policy making should be proactive to identify problems, highlight trends, develop scenarios, and recommend policy options, so as to avert any crisis.

If an academic framework to various issues associated with energy could be provided, it will significantly contribute to the understanding of our policy makers. We must have a pool of institutions in our country dedicated to raising the technological capabilities of our energy systems and expanding the knowledge frontier on issues of energy and energy security.

UPES, as a specialized energy university, has a crucial role to generate state-of-art knowledge to fulfill the needs of the energy sector.

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