Enrolment of women in engineering and technical institutes is only about 20 per cent, said President of India Ram Nath Kovind while addressing the 18th annual convocation of NIT-Rourkela. Stating that universities need to promote women enrolment in technical education, President said, “Growth of women in technical areas will add a new dimension in our nation’s development and help women break the glass ceiling in one of the most technical spheres of 21st century”
The President conferred degrees and medals to the graduating batch of NIT-Rourkela. Of the seven gold medals conferred by him, three went to female students. Remarking on this, Kovind said, “in most of the convocations that I attend, I have found that girls are winning more gold medals in arts, commerce, medicine, law, and related fields is increasing, however, the enrolment of girls in technical and scientific disciplines remains low,” he said asking universities to promote more women to pursue higher education in the technical domain.
“I have been advocating for ‘Universities’ Social Responsibility’ in line with ‘Corporate Social Responsibility,” he said while addressing the convocation ceremony.
A total of 1470 candidates including 544 BTech, 17 BArch, 17 Btech-Mtech, 74 integrated Msc, 125 Msc, 21 MA, 25 MBA, 118 PhD degree, 424 MTech, four MTech by research were conferred with degrees at the 18th annual convocation.
Addressing students, Kovind said, “graduation is an important stepping stone of your lives. I am sure you are eager and excited to contribute to the world and bring about a change to the lives of people.”
“Stage of life you find yourself today is usually full of dreams and aspirations on one hand and uncertainty and apprehensions on the other. This is also a time to make major life decisions,” said the President. He asked students to introspect about values, principles, and the kind of person they want to become while making these decisions. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi he said, “recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man/woman whom you may have seen, and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him/her.”
He also asked students not to judge success only in terms of material gains. “You don’t have to limit yourself by the pressures of conventional notions of success and societal pressures. You need to figure out what you really want to do in your life. Chose to do what gives you satisfaction and meaningfulness,” said Kovind.