Governor Justice P. Sathasivam inaugurates ‘Sankethapravesam – 2017’, a high-profile induction programme for Kerala’s engineering students
Thiruvananthapuram, July 27: Exhorting incoming engineering students to work towards becoming innovators rather than employees, Kerala Governor Justice (retd) P. Sathasivam said here today that inculcating lessons in societal commitment and developing an entrepreneurial bent would enable them to become difference-makers.
“Just as society is investing its resources in your education, so too must you fulfill your responsibilities to bring about important improvements in it and create a more inclusive pattern of social development,” he said.
“While academics will empower you to take up challenges, entrepreneurship will provide you with direction. Already, startups are thinking up cost-effective, low-energy usage tech that will be of great benefit to the society as a whole,” Justice Sathasivam observed.
The Governor was inaugurating ‘Sankethapravesam – 2017’, a one-day induction programme for first year engineering students at Tagore Theatre.
Organised by APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) and Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in association with the IT Department, the event – which channelled the teachings of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on the second anniversary of his death – was beamed to engineering colleges across the state.
Encouraging the students to think on bridging the divide between the pace of technological progress and the growth of societal concerns, Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan said the government was doing its utmost to arrest the trend of brain drain in the state.
“The government is creating opportunities for home-grown engineers to stay here and use their talents to make a difference in the state. In addition to education, the need of the hour is innovative ideas as also an understanding of your commitment to the society that is nurturing you,” he said, citing the example of ‘Metro Man’ Dr E. Sreedharan as one to follow.
The function was presided over by Education Minister Prof. C. Raveendranath, who hoped that engineering students would not only look to score “A+ grades in exams but also carry that determination forward into their professional lives”.
Lauding Kerala for being one of two states to make headway in implementing the All India Council for Technical Education’s recently released startup policy, AICTE Chairman Dr Anil Sahasrabudhe stressed the importance of a vibrant startup culture for furthering technological and social development.
Dr Sahasrabudhe also noted that the curriculum for engineering schools was under revision in order to both improve employability of students and instill a sense of entrepreneurship in them.
Expanding on this observation, IT Secretary Shri M. Sivasankar pointed out that the new engineering students’ handbook for 2017-2021 – which was released by the Governor during the function – contained a new provision that would allow students to avail of a one-year break in their studies in order to work full-time on a particularly innovative idea or project.
“If even one per cent of the 40,000 incoming engineering students takes this up, it will not only enhance their prospects for employability but also contribute to the continued development of Kerala as an innovation hub,” Shri Sivasankar said.
The function also saw Dr E. Sreedharan speak on the importance of professional ethics and values. He outlined four cardinal virtues every engineer must adhere to: punctuality, integrity, professional competence and commitment to society.
KTU vice-chancellor Dr Kuncheria P. Isaac delivered the welcome address. KTU Dean (Academics) Dr J. Sreekumar also spoke.
Later, Dr Sahasrabudhe participated in a panel discussion on the importance of startup culture with Startup Village Collective (SV.CO) Chairman Shri Sanjay Vijayakumar, Trinity College of Engineering Principal Dr Arun Surendran, former Microsoft director and founder of the Jackfruit 365 initiative Shri James Joseph and Shri Santhosh Kurup, CEO of ICT Academy Kerala.
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