Competitiveness in technology is essential: A. Sivathanu Pillai
Competitiveness in technology and hi-tech products being fabricated in the country is the prime requirement to push India to become a major player in the global economy, A. Sivathanu Pillai, distinguished scientist and Chief Controller, Research and Development, Defence Research and Development Organisation, and Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, BrahMos Aerospace, New Delhi, said.
Delivering the 20th convocation address at Manonmaniam Sundaranar University here on Friday, Dr. Pillai said India’s Aryabhatta, Bhaskaracharya, Acharya Kanad, Acharya Sushrut, Acharya Bhardwaj and others, who came out with astonishing findings in the fields of mathematics, cosmology, astronomy, aviation, medicine and surgery were pioneers in their fields.
The country was one of the oldest centres of pre-historic culture in the world and was the cradle of one of the earliest civilizations in history.
The people of Mohenjodaro and Harappa had the skills to develop agriculture, drainage system, well planned streets, pottery, tools, jewellery even during 2500 BC.
The panchaloha idols, the rustless pillar at Qutub Minar in New Delhi, musical pillars in Madurai temples, Tirunelveli and Suchindram, Karikaal Chozhan’s engineering marvel, Grand Anaicut, Bodhi Dharma’s Shaolin Temple etc. bear testimony to Indian skill.
“The remarkable lead taken by the ancient Indians started deteriorating through successive invasions from Alexander the Great to the British. In his statement in the British Parliament, Lord Macaulay had admitted that the British could not conquer India unless its old and ancient education system was replaced. Hence, the Indian student should understand that he has been blessed with a great gene which no other country has,” Dr. Pillai pointed out.
He said the country had proved its mettle in science and technology and had embarked on research in niche technologies such as nanotechnology, fusion energy, photonics, artificial intelligence, network security, information warfare, high power microwave and so on in order to provide the much-required competitiveness to its hi-tech products.
Having developed the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, Indian scientists were now contemplating the development of re-usable hypersonic cruise missiles, similar to Lord Vishnu’s ‘Sudharshana Chakra’.
“Above all, the value-based education and skill development of the youth of our country is essential for India to achieve higher economic standards and human resource index to rank it among the top five nations in the world,” Dr. Pillai noted.
Minister for Higher Education, P. Palaniappan said the State government accorded the highest priority to raising the common man’s accessibility to higher education to 25 per cent as explained in the Chief Minister’s Vision Document 2023.
To achieve this, the government was committed to opening more engineering, arts and science colleges in Tamil Nadu.
The Minister wanted the students to go in for more research activities to take the State to greater heights.
A total of 618 candidates including 482 Ph.D., 38 M.Phil., 56 rank-holders in post-graduate programmes and 42 toppers in undergraduate courses, received their degrees. Candidates numbering 26,903 candidates earned their degrees in absentia.