Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank'.
Mumbai: Education is a 'weapon' which can transform the life of students, their families and society, and IITs have an important role to play in the goal of establishing India as the world leader in education within the next five years, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said here on Saturday.
Speaking as the chief guest at the 57th annual convocation of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay, the Minister urged for joining 'culture with education' so that the individual gets an enduring and firm foundation for growth.
Pointing out Prime Minister Narendra Modi's goal of making India as the world leader in education in the next five years, he said the IITs will play an important role in this endeavour.
Pokhriyal also congratulated IIT-Bombay for being ranked among the Top 200 in the QS World University ranking, and asked it to "aim higher" as it can contribute significantly to challenges of climate change and goals like increasing India's renewable energy capacities.
He said programmes like 'Make In India', 'Digital India', 'Startup India' and 'Standup India' are transformative schemes and now the country has become the world's favourite investment destination.
Later, the Minister awarded degrees to 2,603 students besides 385 PhDs, two joint PhDs of IIT-B/National University of Singapore and one Cotutelle PhD (Joint Supervision) agreement with the University du Quebec a Trois-Revieres in Canada.
He bestowed the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) on Infosys Co-Founder and Chairman Nandan Nilekani - an IIT-B alumnus - for his outstanding contributions as an industrialist and supporting social development using technology.
Four students were presented gold medals for top performance. The 'President of India Medal' was conferred on Srivatsan Sridhar, the 'Institute Gold Medal' on Shashank V Obla (2017-2018) and Reebhu Bhattacharyya (2018-2019), the 'Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma Gold Medal' to Dhruti Shah, besides other gold medals sponsored by donors.
IIT-B Director Subhasis Chaudhuri said the institute continues to be the most sought-after destination for UG-PG studies.
"Among 23 IITs, 47 out of the top 50 rankers and 63 of the top 100 rankers in JEE-2019 have joined IIT-B. The education at IIT-B is comparable to the best in the world, readying the students to take greater challenges and overcome them," Chaudhuri said.
On the occasion, Pokhriyal held a live interaction via National Knowledge Network with students of all 23 IITs in the country on the subject of 'Navbharat Ka Nirman, IITs Ke Saath', inaugurated Hostel No 18 at the campus and planted a sapling.