‘Contribute to innovative use of science’Aug 10th, 2009 | By editor | Category: Education, Specials
NEW DELHI: Offering a glimpse into some of the ongoing developments in different branches of engineering and technology, Indian Space Research Organisation chairman G. Madhavan Nair on Sunday exhorted the graduating students of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, to contribute to the innovative use of science.
Dr. Nair was the chief guest at the second day of the 40th annual convocation of IIT-Delhi here on Sunday.
Addressing the students, he said: “You have a big role to play and contribute in undertaking path breaking and innovative use of science and technology. Challenges are bound to be there when you work on cutting edge technologies, they should not intimidate us but rather learn to surmount them.”
“A nation like India has its own challenges in many walks of life. Nearly 70 per cent of the people are living in villages, many of them do not have a good quality of life. The main problems haunting us are poverty, illiteracy and ill-health. Such problems can be solved only by applications of science and technology.”
Dr. Nair urged students to innovate and find practical solutions to day-to-day problems of their fellow citizens. “Take the technology outside the framework of academic institutions to the fields and thereby to the people, only then the nation can progress.”
Earlier, the eminent space technologist, who spearheaded India’s first unmanned mission to the Moon, “Chandrayaan”, spoke of the new developments in science.
He mentioned that the first applications from semi-conducting nanowires — which could be available commercially in a few years — will probably be in ultra-sensitive sensors that could detect and measure different cancer markers or pathogens in a small sample, such as a single drop of blood.
He told the audience that several alternatives to conventional chemical rockets had been proposed and spoke of the possibility of hydrogen emerging as an alternate fuel for automotive power.
He also shared with the students the details of the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS), an autonomous satellite navigation system being developed by ISRO.
“The proposed system would comprise a constellation of seven satellites and a support ground segment. Three of the satellites will be placed in geostationary orbit and four in near geostationary orbit. Such an arrangement would mean that all seven satellites would have continuous radio visibility with Indian control stations,” Dr. Nair explained.
Earlier, IIT-Delhi Director Surendra Prasad in his report mentioned that the institution currently had 77 agreements with foreign institutions and 45 memoranda of understanding with Indian institutes for exchange of students and faculty, joint research and fellowships for training. He expressed happiness that 181 students were being conferred Ph.D. degree.
He also honoured Prof. Alex Pothen and Dr. Amarpreet S. Sawhney with the distinguished alumni award.
Over 700 degrees, including Ph.D, M.Tech., M.Sc., B.Tech. and five-year dual degree, were given in the following Departments: chemical engineering; bio-chemical and biotechnology; mechanical engineering; civil engineering; applied mechanics; textile technology; and polymer sciences.
The chairman of the Board of Governors at IIT-Delhi V.S. Ramamurthy was also present on the occasion.