Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar declares 21st century as India's era at IIST convocation

The ceremony awarded a total of 120 degrees, including BTech, MTech, and PhD, alongside dual degree programme graduates.
Indian Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar
Indian Vice President Jagdeep DhankharPhoto | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar expressed optimism about India’s future, saying, “The country is on the rise as never before, and this century belongs to Bharat.”

Addressing the 12th convocation ceremony of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday, he highlighted India’s strong position in space exploration, citing the country’s robust space programme and growing pool of skilled professionals. “The coming decades will witness an unprecedented surge in space exploration. India, with its robust space programme and a growing pool of skilled professionals, is well-positioned to be a key player in this exciting journey,” he said.

Reflecting on India’s economic transformation, Dhankhar recalled a challenging past when he served as a Union Minister in 1989. “The economic situation was painful with foreign exchange dwindling. The size of the Indian economy was smaller than cities such as London and Paris. Our foreign exchange reserves were between $1 billion and $2 billion and now our reserves have reached $660 billion. We have traversed a journey from the fragile-five to the big five global economies and are on the way to becoming the third largest global economy,” he said.

The ceremony awarded a total of 120 degrees, including BTech, MTech, and PhD, alongside dual degree programme graduates. Top honours included gold medals presented to Manvendra Sharma and Manas Vashishtha for their academic achievements in undergraduate and postgraduate studies, respectively. Additionally, Y Rahul Kumar and Siddharth Sanjeev Kandhway received excellence certificates and cash prizes for their outstanding performances in BTech Aerospace Engineering. The IIST Alumni Association award was presented to Reetika of BTech Electronics and Communication Engineering (Avionics).

Dhankhar’s wife Sudesh Dhankhar, ISRO chairman S Somanath, IIST chancellor B N Suresh, LPSC director V Narayanan, IIST director S Unnikrishnan Nair, and registrar Kuruvilla Joseph attended the ceremony.

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