23rd convocation of Alagappa University held

The production value of weapons and systems developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had crossed Rs.1 lakh crore during the six years, said W. Selvamurthy, its Chief Controller.

Delivering the 23rd convocation address of the Alagappa Univeristy in Karaikudi, in which the Minister for Higher Education K. Ponmudy distributed degrees to students and research scholars, he said during the last 50 years the DRDO had strived to develop a strong defence science & technology base in the country in producing a wide spectrum of strategic and non-strategic systems and technologies for the military requirement.

The Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas), main battle tank (Arjun), radars, electronic warfare, combat vehicles and others were among those developed by the DRDO and Defence Public Sector Units with the support of private sector industries. Most of them, which were developed by indigenous technologies, had been inducted into the armed forces.

Stating that there had been exponential growth in the field of space science and technology during the last two decades, Mr. Selvamurthy said the budget allocation for science and technology, which was just 1 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, had to be augmented to 3 per cent. Besides this, fiscal incentives and support needed to the private sector investment in S&T must be extended. International collaboration and joint ventures should be encouraged in the globalised world.

Knowledge super power

The country, which was seeking the help of developed nations to feed 30 crore people about 40 years ago, has almost achieved self reliance in food security for over 100 crore people through application of S&T in various fields. Moreover the world community had predicted that it was in an advantageous situation for becoming a knowledge super power.

A large number of human resource, innumerable educational institutions including higher learning institutes and productive age group would make the country super power sooner than later.

It would generate new knowledge, innovation for wealth generation and solving the problems of the society.

Mr. Selvamurthy however said that though the country had a large number of institutions, many of them were concerned about quantity rather quality. The quality of science faculty should be enhanced.

Listing out the progress made by the varsity, its Vice-Chancellor S. Sudalaimuthu said it had started the Department of Life Long Learning and a Centre of Fine Arts. It had planned to start Departments of Biomedical Sciences, Microbiology, Neurobiology, Energy Science and Photonics.

Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments K.R. Periakaruppan, Collector V. Sampath, K. Manimekalai, Registrar, V. Manickavasagam, Controller of Examinations and others took part.

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