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NITs should be at forefront of bridging digital divide: President

President initiates conference of Directors of NIT

New Delhi, Oct 30: President Pranab Mukherjee has exhorted NITs to be at the forefront of bridging the digital divide in the country especially in view of 'Make in India' and 'Digital India' initiatives launched by the government.

Inaugurating a two-day conference of Directors of National Institutes of Technology here, Mukherjee also asked the state-run engineering colleges to adopt at least one village each on the lines of 'Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna'.

Asking NITs to deepen their involvement with society by creating model villages worthy of replication across the country, he said, "They must source, if required, experts from other Central institutions to provide solutions to the wide mosaic of issues that such a transformation to model villages will entail."

This was the second conference of Directors of NITs during the present Presidency and is part of the regular and focused interaction the President is having with Central Universities, IITs and IISERs in his capacity as Visitor to these institutions. "Directors of the NITs must provide bold, innovative and inspiring leadership.

Every NIT must institutionalise quality assurance and sustenance measures in all academic and administrative processes. The key areas of focus have to be an engagement of quality faculty, innovation and research, excellence in teaching, industry linkages and social responsibility. "NITs must aim to attract the best engineering talent in the country and transform them into outstanding engineers, researchers, scientists and teachers," he said.

Pointing out that most of central institutions in the Pointing out that most of central institutions in the country were facing acute shortage of faculty at all levels, the President said during his recent visit to Norway and Finland, he had called upon the scientists, researchers and academics amongst Indian diaspora to become a part of Indian campuses, either on a full-time or a part-time basis, as regular, visiting or adjunct faculty.

In this regard, he expected the HRD Ministry, in consultation with higher educational institutions, to create an enabling environment for such movements to take place. Noting that NITs have emerged front runners in imparting quality scientific and technical education in India, Mukherjee said the need now is for the NITs to undertake a synergetic collaboration with similar institutions in the country and abroad and forge greater horizontal linkages with them at multiple levels of contact.

"Technical institutions like NITs should nurture world-class, professionally-competent engineers who will not only take India to new heights in technology but also improve the quality of life of our countrymen," he said.

PTI

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