By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Former President and renowned nuclear scientist, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, has consented to join IIM, Shillong as a visiting faculty. Dr Kalam will teach Societal Transformation with Technology and its Application for two months – July and August.
The news, announced at the third Annual International Sustainability Conference (SUSCON) of IIM Shillong, here on Wednesday has stirred excitement and thrill among the present batch of 110 students of the prestigious institute who have expressed eagerness to receive lectures from a person of Dr Kalam’s stature.
Addressing the conference, the ‘Missile Man of India’ presented his thoughts and ideas on what he believes to be sustainable development integrating every strata of the society while focusing on PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas), a sustainable development system to empower three billion lives.
He stressed on the need to bridge the gap between urban and rural development even while mentioning that India aims to bring about sustainable development through rural and urban infrastructure, quality education, healthcare, environmental upgradation, bringing vibrancy in the public institutions for better and enhanced delivery of essential public services on time, reforming the financial system for better global integration and a proactive regulatory system.
“India’s core competencies majorly lie in the sectors of agriculture and food processing, education and healthcare, information and communication technology, reliable and quality power supply, surface transport and infrastructure for all parts of the country and self-reliance in critical technologies and if these five areas progress in a coordinated way, then it will lead to food, economic and national security and help in achieving energy independence,” Dr Kalam said.
Reacting to a question on corruption, Dr Kalam said there was no doubt that if a strong bill is passed defaulters will be booked and the jail will be full. “But the point I want to send across is that corruption wouldn’t have prevailed in the first place if the same was being tackled and handled right from one’s home,” he said.
The function also attended by Professor Emeritus, Copenhagen Business School, Peter Pruzan, Director of IIM, Shillong, Prof. Keya Sengupta, government officials, researchers, professors and students.
Visit to St. Anthony’s College
Later, the former President also paid a visit to St. Anthony’s College and interacted with students from different schools and colleges of the city.
Dwelling on the topic ‘It does not matter who we are, but what we will be’, Dr Kalam deliberated on the need to remove the fear about the future from one’s mind and to learn how to give knowledge to the people in need after receiving the same from their respective educational institutions.
“You should have a strong motivation right from the beginning of your life’s journey and you should know that the biggest battle in this world is not with anyone else but it is with yourselves,” Dr Kalam told the students.
Sharing his experience, Dr Kalam, who is widely regarded as one of the most popular Presidents the country ever had, said “I have met over 15 million youths all over the country and learned that every youth wants to be unique but the world is trying to make them like everybody else.”
While asking the students not to become victims of the term ‘everybody else’, Dr Kalam said that the challenge is to fight the hardest battle and never stop fighting until they arrived at their destination i.e. acquiring uniqueness. He also explained the qualities needed to achieve that goal stating that everyone should have a strong aim, continue to acquire knowledge, work hard and have perseverance.
Students were provided with an opportunity to interact with the former President and were enlighten by his answers.
The interactive session was attended by school students from over 37 schools and colleges in the city. The session was also attended by Archbishop of Shillong Diocese, Rev. Dominic Jala, Principal of St Anthony’s College, Rev. Br. Albert L Dkhar and faculty members, besides others.
At Raj Bhavan
During his visit to the city, Dr Kalam also held a discussion with a team from GVK EMRI – Meghalaya operations at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday night.
Dr Kalam, who is the Chairman Emeritus of the Governing Board of GVK EMRI, inquired about the operation of the 108 Emergency Service in Meghalaya and gave inputs for the betterment of the service in providing immediate emergency care to the general public of the State.
Dr Kalam also released the monthly EM Care magazine. Appreciating the good practice of the organization in bringing out the monthly issue of the magazine, Dr Kalam informed the team that he reads the magazine on a regular basis.