Research, innovation and creative ideas will help the country achieve its national goals, including 5 trillion USD economy by 2025, President Ram Nath Kovind said in IIT-Roorkee in Uttarakhand.
Addressing the convocation of IIT-Roorkee, Mr Kovind termed the institute an "innovation hub", where more than 300 students were awarded PhD degrees on Friday, the maximum in 172 years of its existence.
The country has committed to achieving sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations and also wish to play its role in addressing global concerns such as climate change, Mr Kovind said.
"Institutions such as IIT Roorkee are not just centres of education. They are also hubs of innovation and creative ideas. And it is research, innovation and creative ideas that will help us achieve our national goals as well as address the larger concerns confronting humanity today," the President said.
"We must nurture innovation and creativity. And I am happy to note that IIT Roorkee is doing just that. The TIDES Business Incubator here supports start-ups and early-stage companies working on emerging technologies," he said at the Institute which was the first Engineering College established during the British rule.
He said creative thinking on campus has been encouraged by doing away with hierarchy among academics and by giving students a representation in academic bodies and decision-making.
"Researchers here are working on technologies and products that contribute to the well being of their fellow citizens. These include working in cutting edge fields such as nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision and Bio-materials," he said.
Mr Kovind said the alumni of this great institute can and should contribute to their alma mater.
"They were fortunate to receive world-class education which was substantially funded by the tax-payer, that is, by the nation. There is a moral obligation to pay back, and to help those less privileged - in whichever manner the individual prefers," he said.
It would be best of course if this process of paying back enriches education and scholarship at the grassroots of the society, the President said.
Mr Kovind asked the authorities to simplify procedures to enable alumni to come back and teach in the institute.
"The obligation is on IIT Roorkee authorities to involve and invite alumni, many of whom are well placed in other universities or in industry, to come back and teach here -even if for short periods or for specific courses. If procedures need to be simplified to achieve this, then efforts must be made," he said.