Kharagpur: Warning against the dangers of climate change and natural disasters like the one in Uttarakhand recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday asked the IITs to develop disaster resilient infrastructure that can withstand their effects.
Addressing the 66th convocation of IIT (Kharagpur), the oldest of Indian Institutes of Technology, he gave the students the mantra of “Self-3” – “self-awareness, self- confidence and selflessness” – in order to become startups for bringing about a change in the lives of people.
He also spoke of the need for making available safe, affordable and environment-friendly energy to people through initiatives like the International Solar Alliance.
“Climate change is a major challenge as natural disasters destroy infrastructure. India drew the attention of the world to the issue of disaster management.
“You can see what happened recently in Uttarakhand. We should focus on developing disaster resilient infrastructure that can withstand natural disasters,” he said.
The prime minister referred to the global Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), which he announced at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019.
The CDRI envisages partnership of national governments, UN agencies and programmes, multilateral development banks, financing mechanisms, private sector, and knowledge institutions to promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks to ensure sustainable development.
Modi said, “Disaster management is a subject which the world has looked up to India. During major disasters, along with life, infrastructure is the most affected. Realizing this two years ago, India took the initiative of establishing Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure in the United Nations.”
He hailed the role played by the IITs in developing technology to battle COVID-19 and said the hallowed institutes should now work fast on finding futuristic solutions to other health care problems.
“You represent the aspirations of 130 crore people of India,” he said while addressing the convocation virtually.
Noting that the needs and aspirations of 21st century India have changed, Modi said IITs need to be taken to the next level from Indian Institutes of Technology to Institutes of Indigenous Technologies to meet the changing demands and aspirations of New India.
“You have to become startups to bring about a change in the lives of people. You have to work on Self 3– self- awareness, self-confidence and selflessness. You should recognise your potential and move forward, move ahead with full confidence, move ahead with selflessness,” he told the students.
“There is no place for hastiness in the field of science and technology. You may not get complete success in the innovation you are working on. But that failure of yours will also be considered a success because you will learn something from that as well,” he said.
Underscoring the need for clean and affordable energy, the prime minister said India presented to the world the concept of the International Solar Alliance.
He said the cost per unit of solar power was very little in India. However, it was still a great challenge to take it to people’s homes.