President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday asked NITs to work towards promoting scientific temper in their students and said the academic curricula must have an industry focus.
Speaking at the inauguration of the golden jubilee celebrations of National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Tiruchirappali, he said that to address faculty shortage, vacant positions must be filled on priority basis and external talent injected by hiring experts from the industry, laboratories and foreign universities on short-term basis.
"Academic curricula must have an industry-focus. Industry interface cell must be set up to establish linkages with the local industry and industry associations," he said.
Pointing out that e-classrooms must be made available for smarter dissemination of lectures, he said that knowledge and innovation are the underpinning of progress and prosperity in the 21st century.
"In this age of globalisation, we can derive competitive advantage only from an eco-system that is conducive to new
learning, research and innovation. NITs must work towards promoting scientific temper in their students," he said.
The President also underscored that thrust of research must be to erase backwardness, besides wiping out deprivation.
"Innovations must improve the state of the underserved, who want a positive difference in their lives. Institutions
like yours must support ingenious ideas that promise betterment for those aspiring to rise up the socio-economic
ladder - help a farmer till the soil better, an artisan perfect his craft or a small entrepreneur improve the
productivity of his venture," Mukherjee added.
Earlier, the President offered prayers at offer prayers at Punnainallur Sri Mariamman Temple in Thanjavur.