India can become a global player when innovation is used to produce value-added products, said the former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam here on Thursday.

Addressing the graduating batch of CMR Institute of Technology, Dr. Kalam said: “When you graduate, the two things you carry with you is knowledge and courage.”

He urged students to use their knowledge of technology and engineering, combined with innovative ideas, to serve society and augment the country's economy.

Core areas

Dr. Kalam listed five areas of competency that needed innovation: agricultural and agro-based products, education, telecommunication, electric power and infrastructure.

“These five sectors are the key to realising India's 2020 vision,” he said.

To the graduating engineering batch, he urged them to make advances in the emerging nano-biotechnology field, which would help develop life-saving medical tools.

R&D is crucial

Emphasising the importance of research and development even at college level, the former President said: “An institution is judged by the quality of teaching and research that is carried out on its premises.”

Asked about the possibility of his being a presidential candidate a second time, he riposted: “I read the same newspaper as you do.”