President for using technology as instrument of social justice

Hyderabad: President Droupadi Murmu on Thursday called for technology to be used as an instrument of social justice, and ensuring that its benefits reach the remotest areas and the poorest of the poor.

Technology must be used to remove the social, economic, and digital divides, she emphasised in her address to students and faculty members of G. Narayanamma Institute of Technology and Science for Women and B.M. Malani Nursing College and Suman Junior College of Mahila Dakshata Samithi in Hyderabad.

“We know that mobile phones, internet and unlimited information have reached every corner of the world. People are using technology like never before. But it is necessary that it is put to productive use which is possible through digital literacy,” she said.

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She said that the Covid pandemic has shown that people can adopt and learn new technologies quite fast. In fact, the development and administration of Covid vaccines to a large population in a time-bound manner is nothing but a miracle of technology, she added.

The President, who is on a southern sojourn here, said that engineering has played a big role in technological advancements including computers, medical equipments, internet, smart devices and digital payment systems. The role of engineering as a profession becomes very critical in today’s world where unthinkable and unprecedented problems need quick and sustainable solutions, she said.

Engineers have the power to make the world a better place, and solutions that they find and technologies that they would create in future should be people-oriented and environment-friendly, she added.

“Recently at COP 27, India reiterated its vision of a safe planet in a one-word Mantra – LiFE which stands for Lifestyle for Environment. We have been achieving our climate targets and upgrading them. We are taking new initiatives in renewable energy, e-mobility, ethanol-blended fuels, and green hydrogen. These initiatives can start producing better results on ground through technological innovations,” she said.

The President said that technology in today’s world has social, economic, political, educational, environmental and geo-political dimensions. It is continuously evolving and impacting every arena.

She expressed hope that engineers would come out with innovative technologies for the benefit of public at large and improve the quality of life of the people. She said that they should also think about engineering solutions for the disadvantaged sections, senior citizens, divyang persons and other people who need special support.

About the women’s contribution in engineering and technology, the President said that we have examples of many inspiring women who are heading big companies, have launched start-ups and are contributing in a major way in all fields such as telecom, IT, aviation, machine design, construction works, Artificial intelligence and other areas.

Murmu also emphasised that more women need to come forward to take up science streams as STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – is vital to the Indian economy. “Nurturing young women as technocrats and innovators can lead the country towards a stronger economy. Women bring different perspective and skill-sets in tech fields. Cognitive abilities of women can change the way knowledge and technologies are perceived at various levels,” she said, adding that women should overcome challenges that come their way and rise in their careers.

The President advised students to be empowered and empower others too. She said that they should not be satisfied just with their own success and happiness. They have a duty towards the nation and humanity as a whole. They should use their talent and technological capabilities for the larger good, she added.