Pranab Mukherjee: IISc visit highly satisfying

President Pranab Mukherjee spoke fondly of the Institute and said that this would be his last visit to any Central Institute as a President.
Students pose for a group selfie during the Indian Institue of Science convocation on Wednesday | NAGARAJA GADEKAL
Students pose for a group selfie during the Indian Institue of Science convocation on Wednesday | NAGARAJA GADEKAL

BENGALURU: President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday struck an emotional chord with the audience at the Indian Institute of Science convocation when he spoke fondly of the Institute and said that this would be his last visit to any Central Institute as President.

“During the last five years, I have visited about 114 central institutes including many prestigious ones,” he said. Mukherjee added that he was “deeply satisfied” with having visited IISc just as his tenure is about to end. “I have had several meetings with vice-chancellors and directors. But this is my last visit to any central institute as the 13th President of this country and I am concluding it with an institution which has made India proud,” he said as loud cheers echoed in the J N Tata Auditorium.    

He praised the institute for having made it to the list in several national and international ratings.
He explained that though there are 760 universities and over 38,600 degree colleges, providing employability is important. “By 2020, 50 percent of our population will be aged below 25 years. Compared to the aging population, the average age will be 46 in USA, 42 in Europe, 48 in Japan whereas in India, it will be 27. So, there is a need to create a job market. Without this, our demographic divided can become a demographic liability,” he cautioned.

Governor Vajubhai Vala said India should draw inspiration from North Korea, Japan and Israel which have done better over the years.Around 625 graduates in courses including ME/MTech/MDes/MMgt/PhD/MS/MSc-Engg undergraduate courses and 52 medal winners were presented degrees and medals.

‘A bit of advice in my address’

The president apologised to IISc director Anurag Kumar for not having read out his presidential adress. “Mr director, I apologise to you as I have deviated a little bit from my written text, which is not the practice in the convocation address. But I am leaving a little bit of advice. All these points are there in the address,” he said. Mukherjee also walked up to to Prof C N R Rao, who was seated among the special invitees, to greet him as he was leaving the auditorium, taking the security personnel by surprise.

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