Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: Former President of India
  Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam    
 
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ADDRESS DURING THE PRESENTATION OF THE AIR INDIA NATIONAL RANK AND BOLT AWARDS FOR THE YEAR 2006-07 TO STUDENTS AND TEACHERS, NEW DELHI
 

"Creativity leads to thinking
Thinking provides knowledge
Knowledge makes you great"

I am delighted to participate in the award ceremony of the Air India National RANK and BOLT Awards for the year 2006-07 to Students and Teachers. My congratulations to all the award winners and my greetings to all the members assembled here. I am happy that Air India in partnership with Malayala Manorama has taken up this innovative venture with the objective of developing responsible and active citizen and promoting a clean environment. This I consider as an important programme which will facilitate capacity building among the youth and motivate teachers for their new initiative. Students and teachers are important participants in our national development missions. I would like to discuss on the topic "capacity building vital for national development".

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Distinctive profile of the nation

I visualize the following distinctive profile for India by the year 2020 will have to emerge.

1. A Nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line.

2. A Nation where there is an equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water.

3. A Nation where agriculture, industry and service sector work together in symphony.

4. A Nation where education with value system is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination.

5. A Nation which is the best destination for the most talented scholars, scientists, and investors.

6. A Nation where the best of health care is available to all.

7. A Nation where the governance is responsive, transparent and corruption free.8. A Nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removed and crimes against women and children are absent and none in the society feels alienated.

9. A Nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy and continues with a sustainable growth path.

10. A Nation that is one of the best places to live in and is proud of its leadership.

Integrated Action for developed India

To achieve the distinctive profile of India, we have the mission of transforming India into a developed nation. We have identified five areas where India has a core competence for integrated action: (1) Agriculture and food processing (2) Reliable and Quality Electric power, Surface transport and Infrastructure for all parts of the country. (3) Education and Healthcare (4) Information and Communication Technology (5) Self reliance in critical technologies. These five areas are closely inter-related and if progressed in a coordinated way, will lead to food, economic and national security. The major mission is the development of infrastructure for bringing rural prosperity are through Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) through creation of three connectivities namely physical, electronic, knowledge leading to economic connectivity. The number of PURA for the whole country is estimated to be 7000. Educational institutions can participate in evolving road map for development of PURAs in their region. I have come across such example: in Periyar PURA at Vallam in Tamil Nadu, where students and teachers of Periyar Maniammai College of Engineering and Technology are working in the planning and development of a cluster of sixty five villages involving one lakh population.

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Capacities to be built among students

The primary focus of the students should be to excel in their studies. This is their first contribution to the development of the nation. The education system should instill in the minds of students capacities of inquiry, creativity, technology, entrepreneurial and moral leadership. If we develop in all our students these five capacities, we will produce “Autonomous Learner” a self-directed, self controlled, lifelong learner, who will have the capacity to both respect authority and at the same time is capable of questioning authority, in an appropriate manner. These are the leaders who would work together as a “Self-organizing Network” and transform India into a developed nation in a time bound manner. I am glad to learn that this Air India award system has been designed to promote creative thinking and leadership among students and teachers in many areas of societal development. Now, I would like to give an example as to how students in different parts of the country can participate in the environmental and ecological upgradation.

Mapping the Neighbourhood

Department of Science and Technology has taken up a programme called "Mapping the Neighbourhood". In Almora district in Uttaranchal children from 20 schools have been motivated to use mapping techniques to investigate and map basic socio-economic, environmental and ecological issues being faced by the neighbourhood community. Armed with the scientific and technological tools such as Global Positioning System (GPS), Geographic Information System (GIS), Space Imagery incorporated in the hand held computers, the students are creating maps with the neighbourhood details to improve their understanding of the immediate environment. These maps will enable further the technological community to find solutions for the regeneration of fast disappearing natural sources of water, improving road connectivity, finding better locations for electricity sub-stations with transformer and water distribution points, reducing traffic congestion, improved systems of garbage collection and overall improvement of environment. The students have extended their understanding to issues of agriculture and irrigation, health and nutrition.

The mapping carried out by the students enables prevention of indiscriminate dumping and better location of garbage collection points and recycling by the municipal authorities for facilitating a clean environment. Since the students are involved, even the elders abide by the laws of the land and contribute to the upliftment of the neighbourhood. I would suggest the Students to undertake the Mapping of the Neighbourhood in their locality for finding out water resources, renovation of old water tanks and water bodies with proper inlet and outlet by clearing unauthorized encroachment and transport management free from accidents and bottlenecks. By this mission, students can contribute in a big way for societal cause. Air India and Malayala Manorama can provide the infrastructure for carrying out such missions.

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Lead India 2020 Foundation

Recently, in Hyderabad, I met a group of citizens who are putting into practice the motto of transforming of our youth into enlightened citizen. The Lead India 2020 Foundation created by Dr. N.B. Sudershan at Hyderabad is training thousands of students in many districts of Andhra Pradesh in partnership with the District Administration. Particularly, I happened to know the transformation which has taken place among the students of Medak districts. As per the district authorities the impact of the training on the Students is visible in terms of self-discipline, love for their parents and teachers shedding of stage fear and recognition of their duties towards the nation. I happened to talk to Ms. Padma, a student leader from Andhra Pradesh Tribal Welfare School, Adilabad who related how she weaned her father away from smoking after imbibing the spirit of the 10 point oath from the Lead India Training Camp. This gives me an assurance that the youth of our country are on the right path and I am sure the participants of Rank and Bolt competition will promote such activities among their colleagues.

Teaching is a life time mission

To enable development of youth first and foremost, the teacher’s love for teaching is essential, with teaching as the soul of the teacher. The teacher must realize that they are responsible for shaping not just students but ignited youth who are the most powerful resource under the earth, on the earth and above the earth. With their full commitment to the great mission of teaching, the teacher transforms himself or herself as a great teacher only when he or she is capable of elevating the average student to high performance. The teacher conducting himself or herself in a noble way itself is a lifetime message for students. They should encourage the students and children to ask questions and develop the spirit of enquiry, so that they blossom into creative enlightened citizens. They should treat all the students equally and should not support any differentiation on account of religion, community or language and continuously upgrade the capacities in teaching so that they can impart quality education to the students. They should realize by being a teacher, they are making an important contribution to the efforts of national development. The teachers must constantly endeavour to fill their mind, with great thoughts and spread the nobility in thinking and action among the students. Teacher should celebrate the success of the students. Now, I would like to administer a seven point oath for the students.

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Seven Point Oath for Students

1. I realize, I have to set a goal in my life. To achieve the goal, I will acquire the knowledge, I will work hard, and when the problem occurs, I have to defeat the problem and succeed.

2. As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all my tasks and enjoy the success of others.

3. I shall always keep myself, my home, my surroundings, neighbourhood and environment clean and tidy.

4. I realize righteousness in the heart leads to beauty in the character, beauty in the character brings harmony in the home, harmony in the home leads to order in the nation and order in the nation leads to peace in the world.

5. I will lead an honest life free from all corruption and will set an example for others including my home to adopt a righteous way of life.

6. I will light the lamp of knowledge in the nation and ensure that it remains lit for ever.

7. I realize, whatever work I do if I do the best, I am contributing towards realizing the vision of developed India 2020.

My congratulations to all the award winners. My best wishes to all the participants of the RANK and BOLT programme for success in their mission of creating enlightened citizens for the nation.

May God bless you.

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Ten Point Oath for Teachers on

1. First and foremost, I will love teaching. Teaching will be my soul.

2. I realize that I am responsible for shaping not just students but ignited youth who are the most powerful resource under the earth, on the earth and above the earth. I will be fully committed to the great mission of teaching.

3. I will consider myself to be a great teacher only when I am capable of elevating the average student to the high performance.

4. I will organize and conduct my life, in such a way that my life itself is a message for my students.

5. I will encourage my students and children to ask questions and develop the spirit of enquiry, so that they blossom into creative enlightened citizens.

6. I will treat all the students equally and will not support any differentiation on account of religion, community or language.

7 I will continuously build the capacities in teaching so that I can impart quality education to my students.

8 I realize by being a teacher, I am making an important contribution to the efforts of national development.

9 I will constantly endeavour to fill my mind, with great thoughts and spread the nobility in thinking and action among my students.

10 I will always celebrate the success of my students.

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Recommended books

1. Everyday Greatness by Stephen R. Covey

2. Weather Makers by Tim Flannery

3. Empires of the Mind : Lessons To Lead And Succeed In A Knowledge-Based by Denis Waitley

4. Journey into Light: Life and Science of C.V. Raman by G. Venkataraman

5. A Brief History of Time : From the Big Bang to Black Holes by Stephen W. Hawking, Ron Miller, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking

I would recommend two important websites to be seen by the students. (i) www.sakshat.ac.in and (ii) www.eshikshaindia.in. These two sites will enable you to enrich your learning through rich content. Teachers may also like to see the sites as reference material.

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