Prez for strengthening role of technology for crime prevention

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Mumbai, Aug 8 (UNI) Against the backdrop of the recent terrorist attacks, President Pratibha Patil today sought strengthening the role of technology in crime prevention.

Addressing the 46th convocation of IIT-Bombay, Ms Patil said, ''With the rise in terrorist incidents in the country, our security apparatus needs better equipment and technology as the nation determinedly fights terrorism and crime.'' Turning to problems faced by rural India she called upon the IITs to tackle them through development of cutting edge solutions. The President said, ''Our farmers are affected by floods, drought, pests, lack of infrastructure and low yields as compared to the rest of the world. While many of these areas are specialized, nevertheless, IIT engineers have a duty to the nation to produce cutting edge solutions for our rural areas.'' Reminding the IITs of their guiding vision, the President said that IITs being institutes of ''national importance'' were established to contribute to nation-building process by employing technical know-how as an essential tool for development of the country.

Emphasising the need for inclusive approach in spreading the benefits of technology, Ms Patil praised IIT Bombay for undertaking distance education programmes and providing engineering courses through live transmissions and web-based interactive technologies.

She said tailor-made courses by IIT Bombay to train fresh industry recruits in modern technology would help in increasing productivity of Indian industry.

The President also stressed that the eight new IITs will further expand the reach of quality technical education in the country. The President expressed hope that the existing IITs would be able to extend support to the new IITs so that they could also achieve excellence.

While praising the success achieved by IITians both in India and abroad, the President said that contributing to the national growth could be a more meaningful purpose in life. She said, ''I believe that individual advancement and being partners in the national growth process both could be the purpose of your life. In fact, it is the latter purpose, which you will realize is the higher purpose that can make your life more meaningful and give you greater fulfillment.'' Highlighting the challenges of the 21st century, the President expressed confidence that IITians would become important partners in India emerging as a global leader in the emerging knowledge society.

The President said, ''Finding new options and cost-effective solutions for growth require that our scientists and researchers stay one step ahead rather than catch-up with the latest technologies. We must constantly look ahead to the technologies of the future so that India can be a storehouse of knowledge and expertise.'' IIT Board of Governors Chairman Dr Anil Kakodkar, also chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, expressed pleasure that 200 mark has been crossed by this institute for the number of Phds awarded in a convocation.

''Under graduate education in an ambiance of high quality research is a hallmark of good quality higher education system'', he added.

Governor S C Jamir, chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Dr Devisingh Shekhawat were also present on the occasion.

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