Pointing out that as a growing economy India's research and development needs are gigantic, Planning Commission member Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan on Saturday urged Indian Institute of Technology to develop R&D capabilities relationships with public and private enterprises.

Addressing the 42nd Annual Convocation of IIT-Delhi, which is celebrating its Golden Jubilee year, Dr. Kasturirangan said that in the emerging global economic order, competition has been the mantra for growth.

“While competition and dominance of free markets are not panacea for all the problems that we are confronted with, we need to recognise their inevitable role and positive thrust for our economic development. Policies for ensuring a minimum standard of living as well as empowerment of deprived should go hand in hand with the liberal economic policies,” he said.

And for bringing about such competition driven growth, Dr. Kasturirangan said: “A strong R&D sector is essential, whose role extends to key development issues such as low-cost universal health care, clean water supply and efficient energy use.”

Emphasising the need for innovation, Dr. Kasturirangan said governments can extend support through policy interventions, building infrastructures, catalysing markets by playing anchor-tenant role and instituting incentives and funding mechanisms.

Earlier, the former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman said investment in education was becoming a compelling cause even for advanced nations as they were faced with economic upheavals, rising competitions and loss of jobs. After his address, Dr. Kasturirangan was conferred with the Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) for his contributions in science and technology.

IIT-Delhi Board of Governors chairman R. P. Agrawal, who conferred the degree, informed that a report prepared by Dr. Anil Kakodakar Committee – asked by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to draw a road map for future of IITs as world-class institutions – has suggested that IITs should scale up their Ph.D. output.

Later, Distinguished Alumni Awards were conferred on Dr. Anant Jhingran, an IBM Fellow, vice-president and chief-technical-officer for Information Management, and Dinesh Manocha from the University of North Carolina in the United States.

The convocation concluded with honouring students from IIT-Delhi with Ph.D., M.S. (Research), M.Tech, MBA, M.Sc., B.Tech and P.G. diplomas for the year 2010-11. This year, 173 scholars received their Ph.D. degrees.

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