Mega Event Diamond Jubilee Celebration

›› Click here to download souvenir
(souvenir released by Hon. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam -Former President of India at 4:30 P.M. on 31st March'08)

Address during
the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of
Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya

31/Mar/2008 : Vallabh Vidyanagar

Technology and Societal Transformation

“Knowledge makes you great”


I am delighted to participate in the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalya (BVM) which has completed 60 years of commendable educational mission in this rural area. This was the first engineering college of Gujarat state which has produced over 16,000 graduates in different engineering disciplines. BVM is the result of the dreams of two great visionaries Shri Bhaikaka and Shri Bhailabhai Patel and generous funding by Shri GD Birla who established a beautiful educational complex at Vallabh Vidyanagar which has now made a significant difference to the socio economic condition of this area. I congratulate all the functionaries of BVM both present and past who have worked hard to create an excellent educational environment for the students in this campus. My greetings to all the members of Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya on the occasion of Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

The topic I have selected is “Technology and Societal Transformation”.

Towards Knowledge Society

The mission of any educational institution is to transform into knowledge society. This mission will have an impact on removing illiteracy, upgrading the educational system at various levels for providing employable education and enriching the teachers at all levels. It has to enrich not only the communication area, but provide the leverage to multiple sectors such as agriculture, construction, manufacturing and delivery of social services. BVM particularly has the tremendous responsibility to spread to the rural areas of Gujarat to give the knowledge connectivity which will become the life line for the employment generation potential in the rural ambience through value added products. Graduates of BVM have to transform into knowledge professionals enriched with the value system drawn from our civilizational heritage. This combination of knowledge and value based education definitely will help them to match the needs of the impedance of the rural population. Can we meet the challenge and bridge the rural-urban divide?

Technology Interfaces

Technology is the non-linear tool available to humanity, which can affect fundamental changes in the ground rules of economic competitiveness. Science is linked to technology through applications. Technology is linked to economy and environment through manufacture of knowledge products. Economy and environment are linked to technology, which promotes prosperity to the society. The engineering and technology has to promote societal transformation in our society leading to become knowledge society. How BVM can contribute towards achieving this goal? Let me now talk to you about the mission of developed India.

Based on the ambience in the country today, I am visualizing the how the Professionals of BVM can make a difference to the billion people of India in the Development profile of the nation by 2020. Let me present the distinctive profile of India 2020. Dear friends, all of you should map on, how you can contribute to one or more of the 10 missions without disturbing the academic and research programme of BVM.

Distinctive Profile of India 2020

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, devoid of terrorism, 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 through creative and effective leadership in Parliament, State Assemblies and other institutions of the State.

I am confident that these distinctive profiles of the nation will give adequate challenge to the creative and innovative minds of BVM Students and Faculty Members. Out of the 10 distinctive profiles to be achieved, let me give you an example for bridging rural-urban divide.

Contribution in bridging the rural urban divide

How do we bridge this gap? We can bridge it through the creation of projects PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas). India has over 600,000 villages where 700 million people are living. To enhance their prosperity and life style, we need to create 7,000 PURA complexes across the country. BVM can consider planning and preparing the report for creation of number of PURA complexes covering the villages in Anand and other districts of Gujarat. The creation of PURA complex involves provision of three connectivities namely physical connectivity, electronic connectivity and knowledge connectivity. Provision of these connectivities to the rural complex will lead to economic connectivity. Students and Faculty members have a role in planning the PURA complexes and creation of connectivities through the use of science and technology. Particularly, BVM students and faculty members can assist the state government authorities in organizing electronic and knowledge connectivity in the rural clusters located around Vallabh Vidyanagar. Also, some of the students who are keen to become entrepreneurs can create PURA enterprises in the PURA complexes. I would like to share the contribution of Periyar Maniamai College of Women in Thanjavur district in establishing Periyar PURA and particularly working on one village one product scheme in partnership with JETRO of Japan.

One Village One Product and PURA

The members of Periyar PURA in Vallam, Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu have created a strategic partnership with Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) of Japan. During the last one year, people of Periyar PURA villages technologically supported by Periyar Maniammai College of Engineering for Women have worked with experts from JETRO on various products for which core competence and raw material is available in Thanjavur district. They developed proto types for 123 products such as bed sheets, table runner, cushion cover, brass drum, curtains, bread basket etc. Interaction with JETRO specialists included comparison of Japanese product, discussion on raw material selection, technical advice on product development and final quality inspection. Based on this intensive interaction, Vallam people produced 123 products and JETRO selected 55 out of them for international market.

These 55 finalized products were displayed in an exhibition at New Delhi during February 2007 and they have also been displayed in Interior Lifestyle 2007 Exhibition at Tokyo held during 6th to 8th June 2007. Over 168 Business visitors and industries have shown interest in the life style products presented by Periyar PURA team. The important point I would like to mention is that the local technical consultancy support for improving the product has been provided by Periyar Maniammai College of Engineering for Women, and also JETRO. I am sure; Students and Faculty Members of BVM will definitely be able to replicate such missions in the rural areas adjoining Vallabh Vidyanagar using the core-competence of the people in the region. The second example, I would like to discuss is about provision of energy.

Energy Independence - A Perspective

India has 17% of the world’s population, but only about 0.8% of the world’s known oil and natural gas resources. Based on the progress visualized for the nation during the next two decades, the power generating capacity has to increase to 400,000 MW by the year 2030 from the current 130,000 MW in India. This takes into consideration of energy economies planned and the design and production of energy efficient equipments and systems. Energy independence has got to be achieved through three different sources namely renewable energy (solar, wind and hydro power), electrical power from nuclear energy and bio-fuel for the transportation sector.

Energy independence throws very important technological challenges to the world: The solar cell efficiency has to increase from the present 20% to 55% through intensified research on CNT (Carbon Nano Tube) based solar cells. For thorium reactors, as it is known, thorium is a non-fissile material. It has to be converted into a fissile material using Fast Breeder Technology. In the Bio-fuel area, the challenge is bio-fuel plantation for higher yield, esterification technologies for the higher output and the modification to automobile power plants. I would suggest Students and faculty members of BVM to participate in the development of these technologies leading to the availability of commercial class large scale power plants within the next decade.

Now I would like to share with you knowledge driven technology leading to non-linear growth.

Knowledge driven technology gives non-linear growth

I had an interesting study with my team. From the study I could find among the Top IT companies in India, per capita revenue per employee varies from $32,000 to $82,000 per annum, whereas the value addition per employee in one of our Indian automobile industries is $205,000, which is second in the world in manufacturing. But at the same time, I have studied certain IT MNC’s whose business is based on Knowledge products. Their per capita employee revenue is in the order of $200,000 to $600,000. Per capita revenue of one of the leading search engine company is over 10 lakh dollars. Here you should see the difference. Why I am bringing this point here is, to emphasize how the knowledge based system can bring non-linear growth to the organization as well as to the nation. Higher the productivity of knowledge based system, better the employee productivity leading to the non-linear growth of Indian industries. The Students and Faculty Members of BVM should work on development of such knowledge based products for enhancing the productivity of our Industries as a whole. For achieving great missions, time is a very important resource.

You can navigate the time

As you all know, the earth rotates on its own axis once in a day having 24 hours or 1440 minutes or 86400 seconds. Earth itself orbits around the sun. It takes nearly one year for an orbit. With the completion of one rotation of earth around the sun, your age is added by one year as you are living on planet earth. Seconds fly, minutes fly, hours fly, days fly and years fly. We have no control over it. The only thing that we can do is, while the time flies, we can navigate the time. “Let not thy winged day, spent in vain”. Young friends, all of you have to have a mission in life and work for it by navigating the time towards the mission.


In the years to come, India has to graduate from industrial economy to knowledge economy with emphasis on empowerment of the people besides providing basic needs for all-round development. The education system has to be creative, interactive, self-learning and informal with focus on values, merit and quality instead of being text book based teaching. The workers have to be flexibly skilled, knowledgeable and self-empowered instead of being merely categorized as skilled or semi-skilled. The type of work will be less structured and software driven instead of being structured and hardware driven. Management style will be through more delegation instead of being directive. The quality of personnel will be knowledge based besides addressing enhanced performance. Impact on environment and energy will be strikingly less compared to being heavy. Keeping these characteristics in mind, BVM may like to work towards generation of human resource for meeting the needs of knowledge economy through suitable modification to its teaching methods, the application of technology, enhancing the connectivity among multiple institutions and creating a research orientation.

Let me once again greet all the members of Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya on the occasion of Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. My best wishes to the BVM community for success in the mission of creating nation builders of the 21st Century.

May God bless you.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam,

Address : BVM Engineering College, Vallabh Vidyanagar - 388 120. GUJARAT, INDIA. Ph. :91 2692 230104 (o) Fax : 91 2692 230762