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Kalam Addresses Students at First Convocation of Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences - April 18 2013

The first convocation of Shoolini University  of Biotechnology and Management Scienceswas held here today. Delivering the convocation address, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, highlighted the need of breaking barriers between various technological groups so that we have new knowledge society of the 21st century.

He said, “Science, technology, and environment will have to go together for the development of new age science of nano-technology having tremendous application potential in medicine, electronics and material science. The use of nano-robots for drug delivery is not far away. ”

Referring to his ‘Pharma Vision 2020’, Dr Kalam said “India should emerge as the leader of low cost vaccines for HIV, cancer and Malaria, and set the target of producing 20% of world generics drugs.”

Dr Kalam also shared his personal experiences on how science had made a difference to the lives of people. He said that the purpose of real education is to lead the youth to be the best in the selected field. He spoke at length about a subject very close to his heart, research. Interlinking it with education, he said, “Good teaching emanates from research. The teachers’ love for research and their experience in research are vital for the growth of the institution.”

Speaking about Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences, Dr Kalam said, “I am happy that the Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Scienceshas adopted a research driven model and is in the mission of providing value based quality education to students of all sections of society and to make higher education an effective instrument for socio-economic transformation of the nation.”

He also said that for promotion of science, we need scientific leadership with magnanimity and was of the view that Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences has it in the form of its visionary Founder and Vice Chancellor Prof PK Khosla.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Virbhadra Singh, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh expressed his gratitude towards Dr APJ Abdul Kalam saying that it was a matter of immense pride and pleasure to have him here today and inspire our youth and academia for meeting emerging challenges of poverty eradication, food security and access to energy along with environment protection through innovations in science and technology. He lauded the efforts of the Vice Chancellor, Prof PK Khosla in making Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences a research driven Flagship University of the state.

In his speech, Mr Ramesh K Mehan, Chancellor of the University, recalled what he had read about Dr Kalam’s inspiring works a decade back. What touched him the most was his three visions, namely; Freedom, Development, and India standing up the world. Mr Mehan also expressed his gratitude to Shri Virbhadra Singh during whose tenure as the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh in 2005 the seed of Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences was sown. He chose the occasion to congratulate him on becoming the Chief Minister of our wonderful state for the sixth time.

In his welcome address Prof PK Khosla, Vice Chancellor, Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences said that Dr Kalam and his books have become a household name in India and among the Indian nationals abroad. He further added that it is a matter of immense pride and pleasure that being a legend of his stature, Dr Kalam has so readily agreed to grace the occasion and deliver the convocation address. It is for this reason that the former president is fondly called as ‘Peoples President’.

Prof Khosla also welcomed and expressed his gratitude towards honourable Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Shri Virbhadra Singh for gracing the occasion. He lauded his role in the conservation of Himalayan ecosystem and application of science and technology for meeting developmental goals. He welcomed the members from the media, esteemed guests, degree holders and faculty members who have gathered to witness this historic occasion.

Prof Khosla emphasized that Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences has set a vision of ‘To be a top 200 global university by 2022’. He said our arrival on the national scene has already been acknowledged by the Government of India as the university has won competitive research grants of more than Rs 5 crore which he hoped would increase up to Rs 100 crore by 2022. An innovative idea of linking higher education with tourism on the pattern of Switzerland was also mooted by Prof Khosla in his address.

He highlighted various alliances of Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences with world class institutions like Seoul National University, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, Sierra Bio Life in Australia and Genpact for transfer of knowledge and expertise to students and faculty exchange, joint researches, training programme, conferences, etc.

On this occasion, Dr Kalam presented scrolls of honour to Padma Bhushan SP Oswal, Chairman, Vardhman Group; Justice NK Sodhi, Former Chief Justice Court of Karnataka, Chairman Special Appellate Tribunal (SAT); Dr RC Mahajan, Emeritus Medical Scientist & Advisor ECD, ICMR; and Dr SS Handa, Chairman, Task Force on Quality Standards of Indian Medicinal Plants for their outstanding contributions to the development of the university and the society as a whole.

Eleven toppers in various courses were awarded university medals for academic excellence. Out of 440 new graduates, 292 received their degrees in person and 148 in absentia in various courses. Shikha Sharma became the first recipient of the PhD degree of the university (Chemistry).
Chief guest Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam also inaugurated the newly constructed State of the Art Yogananda Library which is a blend of modernity, tranquility and green technology. The library is designed keeping in mind Green Building Technologies with an open well in the centre of the library for providing natural light making the building energy efficient with an eighty per cent energy saving in the day time. The library is completely digitized and computerized and is the first of its kind in the region.

The convocation concluded with the vote of thanks by Prof Atul Khosla, Executive Trustee and Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences and Liberal Arts.