Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, visited Shri Madhwa Vadiraja Institute of Technology & Management, (SMVITM) Bantakal and addressed the students and interacted with the students and faculty of the institute on 2 April 2014. The programme started at 12.30 noon and Dr. Kalam began his speech by telling the students to reflect on what they would like to be remembered for and write it down and send their ideas to him. He promised that he would reply to them if he found the ideas really original and bright.
He also said that technology and innovation could empower the nation. With innovations that could be brought about with the convergence of the bio, info and nano technologies, many new avenues in science and technology were already open and appropriate uses of these innovations could lead to effective solutions to many problems that plague the country and the globe.
Dr. Kalam narrated how he was nudged and inspired by one of his professors at Madras Institute of Technology, he, along with some other students, succeeded in designing a low flying aircraft with the limited technology and tools available in the 50’s. Citing this example, he underscored the importance for engineering students to master system design, system integration and system management. He reminded the students of the importance of being the captain of the problems rather than the problems being the captain, which would help them in solving problems of any magnitude and succeed in life.
Dr. Kalam urged the students, many of whom are first time voters, to vote for good candidates and he even made them take an oath that they would cast their votes in the upcoming general elections.
Replying to a question on ‘brain-drain’ asked by a student, Dr. Kalam said that it was not a serious problem for India as the country generated three million engineering and medical graduates annually and only less than five percent of them went out of the country for the acquisition of knowledge and wealth. Both the knowledge and wealth acquired in this way would come back to the country eventually and so there was no need to worry too much about the trend. Replying to another question on the secret behind his professional success, he said that success did not have any specific meaning and doing small things like teaching the illiterate people or just planting a few trees to reduce the carbon di oxide levels in the atmosphere could be considered as personal success.
Dr. Kalam inaugurated the recently built Civil Engineering, Electronics & Communication Engineering and Mechanical Engineering blocks on campus by remote controlled switches. A portrait of Dr. Kalam, painted by Mr. Vignesh, a member of the staff, was handed over to Dr. Kalam on the occasion.
The programme was presided over by H H Shri Vishwavallabha Theertha Swamiji. Dr. Muddu Mohan IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Udupi; Dr. Boralingaiah IPS, Superintendent of Police, Udupi and Ms Kanagavalli, IAS, CEO, Udupi Zilla Panchayath were present. Shri. Ratnakumar delivered the welcome address and Prof. Dr. Radhakrishna S Aithal gave a brief introduction to the institute and to Dr. Kalam. Mr. Venugopala Rao, Assistant Professor with the Department of Computer Science & Engineering compeered the programme and proposed the vote of thanks.