President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday urged the youth not to get carried away by the instantness of technology, saying they must continue to work hard without the expectation of immediate reward.
President Kovind, who was in Cyprus on the first leg of his three-nation visit to Europe to continue India’s high-level engagements with European countries, delivered a lecture at the University of Cyprus on ‘Youth, Technology and Ideas: Shaping the Contours of the 21st century’.
He unveiled the bust of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore at the University.
Technology has opened a whole new world of learning and has made it easier to accomplish tasks, he said.
“You should, however, not get carried away by the instantness of technology. You must continue to work hard without the expectation of immediate reward,” Kovind said.
The pursuit of excellence should be the key factor that should dominate the minds of future generations, he said.
“I am in Cyprus for the first time and have been captivated by the warmth of the Cypriot people. Our two nations share very special ties.
“As we move deeper towards the technology world, we must create open source platforms for communities and countries to access the fruits of science and technology. Access, equity and inclusion should remain key to developing and deploying technologies,” the President said.
He said that digital classrooms have made learning more inclusive and interactive.
“Students sitting across different continents engage in a classroom. The catchment area of ideas and cultures involved in education has grown manifold,” he said.
Chemistry today is not being taught with just books but with sounds, visuals and digital experiments. E-books and education apps have acquired a new salience, he said.
“We must dwell on what the Fourth Industrial Revolution promises. It is a force multiplier for development and growth. Yes, it will disrupt conventional jobs - but with advances in artificial intelligence, life-sciences and energy, many more opportunities would be created,” Kovind said.
India has the third-largest scientific and technical manpower in the world with over 4,000 doctorate degrees awarded annually, he said.
The patents filed by Indian start-ups have gone up 15 times in 2017; from 61 in 2016 to 909, he said.
“We are committed to sharing our technology platforms with those who need them. We are making our space technology available for rural development in Madagascar and bringing the fruits of telemedicine to many across the globe,” Kovind said.
He said that a far greater challenge for youth would be how they manage climate change and the environmental stress.
For the present generation, this challenge amounts to dealing with variability in weather patterns, flash floods and forest fires, he said.
“As we move towards a knowledge-based society, skilling and retraining will acquire center-stage of policy making and business development. In India, we have undertaken a massive programme to skill 150 million people over the next few years,” he said
On Monday, India and Cyprus signed two agreements on combating money laundering and cooperation in the field of environment as President Kovind met his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades and held wide-ranging talks here.
Apart from Cyprus, Kovind will visit Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. This is his first overseas state visit in the second year of his presidency.