Educational institutions have to change from being centres of knowledge acquisition to those using it promptly and appropriately; they have to change from being merely seats of individual competitive ambitions to those of social readiness to serve humanity, V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, executive vice-president, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology, and Environment, has said. He was delivering the ninth convocation address of the National Institute of Technology, Calicut (NIT-C) at Chathamangalam here.

Prof. Pillai said that with increasing importance of information technology and other emerging areas, there was an observable decline in the interest towards understanding the importance of humanities, social sciences, and languages. Terming it an “undesirable trend,” he said that higher education institutions should take care of this lacuna, and ensure that such course works were integrated with engineering disciplines.

Putting the importance of humanities subjects in perspective, Prof. Pillai said there was no knowledge that was not applicable. The applicability was a question of context. The context had social, cultural, and regional connotations. A person acquiring knowledge should also be educated of this context. “If your acquire knowledge and skills in any emerging area (of science) without proper understanding of the humane universal ideals, you may even undermine the very purpose of acquiring knowledge.”

As many as 1,251 students, who completed their courses, were presented with the course certificates during the convocation ceremony. NIT-C Board of Governors chairman C.G. Krishnadas Nair and NIT-C director M.N. Bandyopadhyay spoke.

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