News & Events
Dr. APJ Abdul
Kalam addressed the College Principals at USTM
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam,
eminent scientist and former President of India, was the keynote
speaker at the valedictory session of the North East College
Principals’ Conclave (NCPC) – 2014, an initiative of ERD
Foundation hosted by University of Science & Technology
Meghalaya (USTM) on 23rd July at Techno City Campus.
Soon after his arrival
at the University, Dr Kalam was taken for a conducted tour of
the picturesque campus set amidst green forest cover and
undulating hills. Thereafter, he was presented a guard of honour
by the Meghalaya Police.
After his felicitation
in the traditional way, Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor USTM &
Chairman ERD Foundation, welcomed Dr Kalam on behalf of the ERDF
and its institutions as also on behalf of the participants at
NCPC. Hoque also gave a bird’s eye view of the modest beginning
of his mission in 2001 and how it has got converted into the
fastest expanding education network of the region today. He
unveiled the milestones of USTM this way – Mission Bronze: to
become one of best in East by 2020, Mission Silver: to turn in
to one of the best in India by 2025, and Mission Gold: to emerge
as a world class university by 2030.
Even though Dr Kalam had
come prepared primarily to address the college principals,
seeing an overwhelming presence of students and youth at the
venue, he decided to address them first. He exhorted them to
feel strong, and to realise that they have wings which meant
that they are not born to crawl – they are born to fly high up
in the sky and reach for the moon. He began his speech on ‘I am
born with wings’ by asking students what they would be carrying
with them after passing out from school.
When the students
replied that it was knowledge, Kalam redefined it. “Knowledge is
creativity plus righteousness in the heart plus courage.”
Thereafter he turned to
the principals, and opposing the commercialization of education,
he said it should not be made into a business, but imparted by
good teachers. He urged the Principals to be very good teachers
first, then administrators. Principals must take regular classes
to be in direct contact with the students.
“Education cannot be a
business product or system. Education at the primary level has
to be delivered in an integrated way by great teachers through
good syllabus and promoting affinity between parents, students
and teachers,” Kalam said.
“It is not a great
building or a great facility or great advertisements which give
quality, but lovable education and great teachers do,” Kalam
told the audience which vastly represented the academia and
Kalam gave the example
of how his own school days were happy in the thatched Rameswaram
Panchayat Primary School despite poor infrastructure and scanty
amenities. He said his teachers, who had a mission to spread
education, were loved by students and there was no dropout.
Having graced the post
of the President of India besides working as an administrator
and scientist, the ‘Missile Man’ said he loved teaching the
“I have been a teacher,
a scientist, and an administrator. Now I have come to teaching
again. If you ask me what I love the most, I would say it is
teaching,” said the 83-year-old who travels regularly all over
India to meet students.
Presenting his vision of India in the next few years, he said,
“We want a nation where crimes against women and children are
absent and none in society feels alienated”.
The function was also
graced by Dr. Mihir Kanti Chaudhury, VC of Tezpur University and
Dr. Mridul Hazarika, VC of Gauhati University. More than five
hundred college principals of all the Degree Colleges of Assam
as well as the other NE states, teachers and renowned
academicians of the region as well as a large number of students
attended the function.
Earlier in the day, Shri R. S. Mooshahary, Former Governor of
Meghalaya had inaugurated the conclave. He praised the visionary
works of the Chancellor Mr. Hoque and said that North East is
hopeful of having a world class University under his able
leadership. Prof K. G. Bhattacharyya, Former Director, UGC Staff
College was the Guest of Honour of the inaugural function.
The conclave was organized by USTM in association with Assam
College Principals’ Council (ACPC) and Regional Institute of
Science & Technology, supported by State Bank of India, with an
aim to streamline the education institutions, knowing each
other’s potentials & working together to create a healthy and
conducive environment for the promotion of educational scenario
of the region.
The highlight of the
conclave was a Seminar on “Higher Education in North East with
reference to Rashtriya Uchchatar Siksha Abhiyan (RUSA)” to
discuss various issues related to the implementation of RUSA.
The main objective of this conclave was to discuss with the
Principals with up to date knowledge of Projects related to the
development of educational infrastructure, getting funds for
different projects given by UGC & other Govt. departments for
the benefit of their respective colleges and the students
community as a whole.
On the occasion, ERDF have conferred the first “ERDF Mission
Award-2014” to three of its founder trustees-Mr. Balen Haloi,
Ms. Anju Hazarika and Mr. Azmol Hussain Barbhuiya in recognition
to their service rendered to the foundation. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
had handed over the citation to them with cash of rupees fifty