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14th Convocation of Vels Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies (VISTAS) Chennai

I am very happy to attend the 14th Annual Convocation of Vels Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies (VISTAS). I extend my heartiest congratulations to the young graduates who are ready to embark on a new chapter of their lives, which is going to be filled with lots of challenges and achievements. This occasion is indeed a significant milestone in your lives as the journey of both professional and personal growth will take a leap.

Friends, do not consider this day as the end of your academic journey, instead term your graduation as the stepping stone for future plans. From today onwards, keep your mind windows open to explore, engage and experience something new and innovative. Do some critical thinking, upskill and reskill yourself with new technologies and ideas and mark a space for yourself in the world of rapid evolution.

In a world that is constantly evolving, the challenges you will encounter may seem daunting. However, I urge you to approach every obstacle as an opportunity for growth and innovation. As graduates of VELS you are equipped with the skills, knowledge, and ethical values to navigate the complexities of the global landscape. Friends, though AI and other emerging technologies are transforming various aspects of our lives, but it also offers incredible potential. As machines and AI systems become more advanced, there's an uncertainty of jobs in some sectors. However, I always feel that instead of creating a fear of losing something, one should embrace change and adapt to new ways of sustainability and growth. With the introduction of disruptive innovations, it becomes important for you to be upgraded and equipped with the emerging and advanced technologies. Therefore, one should always keep the learning spirit alive forever. Therefore, students need to develop these humane skills alongside technical knowledge. I would like to highlight the AICTE courses in emerging areas like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Block Chain, Robotics, Quantum Computing, Data Sciences etc. We designed these courses to equip students and faculty with the necessary digital skills to adapt to the rapidly changing demands of the 21st-century economy. These courses are meticulously designed to provide students with industry-relevant skills, thereby improving their employability and competitiveness in the job market.

Friends, youths of our country have the potential to make India a global superpower. We have been leading in the forefront in so many sectors. In the last few years, India has seen transformative growth and digital transformation is one such element. India’s digital transformation is powered by its unshakeable belief in innovation and its commitment to speedy implementation. India's Digital Public Infrastructure offers scalable, secure and inclusive solutions for global challenges. Aadhar card, CoWIN, UPI are just some of the successful examples of India’s digital growth.

Therefore, do not limit yourself to just completing graduation and seeking a job. Prepare yourself to accept and adapt to the change we are witnessing due to emerging technologies. Revamp your mindset from job seeker to a job giver. Instil a niche of becoming an entrepreneur within yourself.

To succeed in the transformative world, be capable of being job givers rather than job seekers. And for that innovation is the key. I strongly believe that investing in research and innovation is investing in a country’s future. Just like Innovation, Research is also a very important aspect to create new solutions to maintain and improve our way of life. R&D and innovation are interlinked to each other and their parallel collaboration helps in overall development. Innovation fuels economic growth, and R&D fuels innovation, allowing researchers to develop new knowledge, techniques, and technologies.

• In order to promote the concept of Research and Development among students and faculty members, AICTE launched AICTE AURA (Augmenting Utilization of Research Assets 2024 Scheme) to promote the utilization of I-STEM (India Science Technology Engineering facilities Map) by providing the financial aid to teachers and students in AICTE approved colleges for utilizing I-STEM facilities and boosting research. The aim of AURA scheme is to augment existing research by utilization of public funded hardware and software R&D facilities mapped by I-STEM, and thereby developing a culture of research in technical education Institutions.

• AICTE has also joined hands with Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) to AICTE-Inter-Institutional Biomedical Innovations Programme (IBIP) to catalyze interdisciplinary education, research and innovations between medical and engineering institutions. The AICTE-IBIP program is the collective endeavour of AICTE and C-CAMP to promote accessible, affordable and quality healthcare to all, making health and lives better. The objective of the program is to facilitate engineering and medical graduates, post graduates and faculty members to jointly work on the challenges from the medical domain. Beside imparting multidisciplinary education and research, the initiative will also prompt and prepare them for entrepreneurship particularly in the healthcare sector.

• Apart from this scheme, AICTE is instrumental in promoting innovation and startup culture in our approved Institutions. We organise hackathons like Smart India Hackathon, Singapore India Hackathon, Pentathon, Kavach etc. with an aim to provide students a platform to solve the pressing problems of the government, ministries, departments, industries and other organizations. Smart India Hackathon has been acclaimed as the world’s biggest open innovation model and it inculcates the culture of product innovation and problem-solving among students. Apart from this, the Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell at AICTE also organises Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship bootcamp for students of school and higher education. On 4th April, I inaugurated the IDE bootcamp for School Student Innovators, Teachers and Principals of PM SHRI Schools and Non-PM SHRI Schools. More than 4000 participants have shown their interest in the bootcamp to get training in design thinking and developing customer centric products.

• Beside this, AICTE also organizes some unique activities to engage students in developing innovative ideas. AICTE Inventors Challenge focuses on semiconductor domain, AMRUT Challenge invites ideas of cooking Millet recipes, National Inter-college Crossword Expedition is a mind game and crossword puzzle challenge, Bicycle Design Challenge promotes the eco-friendly bicycle designs. So, there are lots of unique challenges we organise to ensure that the maximum number of students take part in such activities and get an exposure of innovative thinking and creative learning instead of just rote learning.

• AICTE also focuses on skill based learning. We need both knowledge creation and also impart high end future skills at our universities. Today, skilling has become an integral part of education and curriculum. We need to understand the difference between skill-based and knowledge-based education. The latter involves understanding concepts whereas the former aims to channelize education into a practical form to find solutions. India is looking for talented people who can innovate, are open to learning and re-learning, can apply their knowledge practically and will also upskill themselves. In order to establish industry-academia collaborations to address the skills gap and foster a future-ready workforce, we have signed MoUs with big giants like Amazon, Meta, Cisco, Salesforce, Arm India, Bajaj Finserv, Apna.co etc to ensure that the private sector contributes by actively participating in curriculum development, offering apprenticeships and internships, and providing funding for skilling initiatives.

• Also, AICTE's Internship and Placement portal cater to a wide range of job and internship opportunities for young graduates. AICTE internship portal has over 4 crore registered students with over 75,000 companies offering internships. In the placement portal more than 2,000 companies are offering jobs particularly for students located in rural and tribal areas.

At AICTE, our vision is to provide transformative education to students, to create leaders and innovators, and generate new knowledge for a sustainable society. AICTE has a tremendous role to play as a partner of a new knowledge economy to inspire, create and move our society forward. Automated Permanent Academic Account Registry (AAPAR) and NCRF introduced as part of NEP 2020 implementation will be new QR code for learners.

• We are even instrumental in promoting the regional languages. AICTE E-Kumbh portal is offering technical books Hindi and other regional languages. At e-Kumbh you can access the technical course books in regional languages for free. We did so because when you think in your mother tongue, your ideas will be much better and sharper, fostering greater innovation.

• Apart from this very recently we launched the AICTE VAANI scheme to promote Indian languages among faculty members and students for an effective teaching learning process. VAANI stands for Vibrant Advocacy for Advancement and Nurturing of Indian Languages.

At AICTE, our vision is to provide transformative education to students, to create leaders and innovators, and generate new knowledge for a sustainable society. AICTE has a tremendous role to play as a partner of a new knowledge economy to inspire, create and move our society forward.

I encourage young minds of our country to go through the technical books developed by AICTE in Hindi and other regional languages. When you think in your mother tongue, your ideas will be much better and sharper, fostering greater innovation. You can read the technical course books available in regional languages. AICTE has released textbooks in English and 12 other regional languages for undergraduate and diploma courses, accessible for free on the AICTE’s e-kumbh portal.

I convey my heartiest congratulations to the Graduates of VELS. Each one of you has received a formal recognition in the form of a degree that will empower you to become a great achiever and will make your parents proud and your Alma mater proud of you for years to come. You have plenty of opportunities before you. Let your dream be your wings to carry you into the future. As you embark on this new chapter, dare to dream, strive for excellence, and always remember the lessons learned within these walls.

Once again Congratulations to all of you. Good luck and good health to all of you.

Thank You! Jai Hind.

Watch full address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C53i_M0jPfg

Glimpses of Administrative Career Achievements
Glimpses of Administrative Career Achievements