Laying primacy on innovation and creativity, the former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Wednesday said that in the next 20 years India would grow in a big way in the knowledge society.

Innovation and creativity would result in a culture of excellence which would help in further elevating the country, Mr. Kalam said speaking at the National Institute of Technology here.

“Today knowledge is power and if you are creative you are the winner”, the former President said.

Noting that institutions would be judged by their creativity and innovation, Mr. Kalam exhorted students to aspire for attaining excellence without getting deterred by failures.

Universities and national institutions should prepare citizens of future with global outlook capable of strengthening the nation. Facing a new world, institutions should foster team spirit and carry out joint projects that would bring together multiple faculties and enable minds to integrate thereby, he said.

Today synergy was the mandate and working together would ultimately lead to sustainable development which was very much required, he said. Ignited mind of youth was the most powerful resource which the nation should make use of, he said. Increased student–faculty interaction would enable the young minds to expand their knowledge.

Earlier, Dr. Kalam honoured 15 distinguished alumni of the institution by presenting awards to each one of them. He inaugurated the golden jubilee science block on the occasion and interacted with students.

The Director, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi, S. Sundarrajan, welcomed the gathering.