is the text of President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s address during the laying of
foundation stone for International Institute of Information Technology at
I am indeed delighted to participate in the laying of
Foundation Stone for the International Institute of Information Technology
(IIIT), Bhubaneswar. My greetings to the Chairman and Members of the Governing
Body of the institute, dean of Centre for Information Technology Education,
scientists, technologists and distinguished guests. The Information Technology
is the core competence of India. Within the next five years there will be a
requirement of over one million candidates for IT, ITES and BPOs sector in the
country. Launching of IT education program through IIIT is an important step by
the Government of Orissa for participating in this growth area.
India in transformation
India is well on its way to become a knowledge power, there
are all round growth in all sectors of the economy namely the agriculture,
manufacturing and services. Today we have an opportunity to take the leadership
in the knowledge revolution. Knowledge revolution is indeed the foundation for
leading India into a Developed Nation. For this, the time is ripe because of
the ascending trajectory of the economy, availability of great institutions for
capacity building of the human resource, abundant bio-diversity, and other
natural resources and above all, our 540 million youth who are determined to
make the nation prosperous, happy and a safe place to live well before 2020. I
would like to discuss with you on the topic “Convergence of Technologies”.
Convergence of Technologies
The information technology and communication technology have
already converged leading to Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Information Technology combined with bio-technology has led to bio-informatics.
Now, Nano-technology is knocking at our doors. It is the field of the future
that will replace microelectronics and many fields with tremendous application
potential in the areas of medicine, electronics and material science. When Nano
technology and ICT meet, integrated silicon electronics, photonics are born and
it can be said that material convergence will happen. With material convergence
and biotechnology linked, a new science called Intelligent Bioscience will be
born which would lead to a disease free, happy and more intelligent human
habitat with longevity and high human capabilities. Convergence of
bio-nano-info technologies can lead to the development of nano robots. Nano
robots when they are injected into a patient, my expert friends say, it will
diagnose and deliver the treatment exclusively in the affected area and then
the nano-robot gets digested as it is a DNA based product. Convergence of ICT,
aerospace and Nano technologies will emerge and revolutionize the aerospace
industry. This technological convergence will enable building of cost effective
low weight, high payload, and highly reliable aerospace systems, which can be
used for inter-planetary transportation.
Bio-informatics: The convergence of bioscience and
IT into Bio-informatics has given the thrust to researchers for genomics-based
drug discovery and development. Pressure is mounting over the pharmaceutical
companies to reduce or at least control costs, and have a growing need for new
informatics tools to help manage the influx of data from genomics, and turn
that data into tomorrow's drugs.
Bio-informatics data play a vital role and emerging as a
business model for the medical and pharmaceutical sector. Key areas such as
gene prediction, data mining, protein structure modeling and prediction,
protein folding and stability, macromolecular assembly and modeling of complex
biological systems are thriving and IT has major role to play in these areas in
bringing the tools to manage the high throughput experiments and the data they generate,
and sharing and integrating all the data in a meaningful way resulting into the
detailed models of complex systems, particularly biological pathways.
Bio-Suite: I launched the Bio-Suite at
Hyderabad on 14th July 2004, which is an important software package that caters
to all aspects of computational biology from genomics to structure-based drug
design. It incorporates the latest publicly known algorithms, as chosen by a
panel of academic partners, and has been coded entirely by the Tata Consultancy
Services (TCS) team, using the software engineering practices. It can be used
by academic and R&D institutions, small and medium and large biotechnology
companies. This bio-suite was developed by TCS in collaboration with Council
for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and academic institutions.
Gene Chip: In 2004, I visited Dr. Cherian’s
Medical Centre at Chennai. It is known as, International Centre for Biomedical
Sciences and Technology (Research & Applications). There I interacted with
Dr. Emmanuel, who is working in the area of Gene Chip. They have developed a
Gene Chip which can be used for finding the existence of genetic diseases
including coronary artery diseases or neuro defect in the baby during a certain
stage of pregnancy itself. The chip could also be modified to suggest to the
patient’s system to develop those chemicals, which in turn will help the
patient recover from the present situation. The specialists assembled here may
like to debate whether gene chip can be used for identifying the susceptibility
of the baby to the allergic diseases in the advanced stage of pregnancy. Can
medical bio-informatics help in finding a treatment regime for the mother,
which may give immunity to the child from the allergic disease?
It is reported that gene differences between humans and most animals are very
nominal. More than 90% of our DNA is similar. This property is a boon to
researchers since animal models can be subsequently used for curing human
diseases based on trial data. Medical researchers are progressing further in
this area for finding the application of Gene Chip as a diagnostic tool and as
a treatment regime for allergic diseases and asthma.
Nano Technology: When I think of Nanoscience and
Nanotechnology, I would like to discuss about three scientists who have laid
the foundation on nanoscience and nanotechnology. Mr. Richard Feynman, who
described the concept of 'building machines" atom by atom in his talk at
Caltech titled "There is plenty of room at the bottom". Mr. Eric
Drexler, who wrote the book titled 'Nano Systems, Molecular machinery,
manufacturing and computation". Prof CNR Rao, who pioneered and fostered
the nanoscience research in India. Molecular nano technology has enormous
potential for future aerospace systems and health areas. Research has shown
that newly discovered class of molecules, leading to the development of carbon
nano tubes that they have multiple applications in the system developed in the
areas of electronics particularly nano-electronics and power systems. Carbon
nano tubes are normal form of carbon with remarkable electrical and mechanical
properties. It is hoped that such materials could revolutionize electronic
design and open the space frontier by radically lowering the cost of launch to
Carbon Nano tubes reinforced with polymer matrix will result
in composites which are super strong, light weight, small and intelligent
structures in the field of material science. This has tremendous aerospace
Molecular switches and circuits along with nano cell will
pave the way for the next generation computers. Ultra dense computer memory
coupled with excellent electrical performance will result in low power, low
cost, nano size and yet faster assemblies.
Energy for future generations: The era of
wood and bio-mass is almost nearing its end. The age of oil and natural gas
would soon be over even within the next few decades. The world energy forum has
predicted that fossil based oil, coal and gas reserves will last for another 5
- 10 decades only.
Hydrogen fuel and solar rays are the two modes to get clean
power. The solar rays, when passed though presently available solar
photovoltaic cells have an efficiency of less than 20%. I would like to discuss
the latest research in the area of photo-voltaic cells using Carbon nano tubes
which can give an efficiency of over 45%, nearly three times the efficiency
which the present technology can offer.
CNT based solar cells for higher efficiency
The low efficiency of conventional photo voltaic cells has
restricted the use of solar cells for large application for power generation.
Research has shown that the Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) based PV cell with multi
junction device could give maximum efficiency of 30%. Therefore, the present
research trend is on the use of Carbon Nano Tube (CNT) based PV cell. Both
single wall CNTs and multi wall CNTs have been used as electrodes, as electron
acceptor, which can split exciton into electrons and holes to produce
The CNTs provide better electron ballistic transport property along its axis
with high current density capacity on the surface of the solar cell without
much loss. Higher electrical conductivity and mechanical strength of CNT could
improve the quantum efficiency to the order of 35%. But, this is not sufficient.
Recent research abroad has shown that the alignment of the CNT with the polymer
composites substrate is the key issue and this aligned CNT based PV cells would
give very high efficiency in photovoltaic conversion. The polymer composites
increase contact area for better charge transfer and energy conversion. In this
process, the researchers could achieve the efficiency of about 50% at the
laboratory scale. The optimum efficiency was achieved with the aligned CNTs
with poly 3 – octyl thiophene (P3OT) based PV cell. I am sure, scientific
researchers from Orissa will be excited to work in this area of research in
partnership with industries so that we can get large scale production of
aligned CNTs with P3OT based high energy solar cells. Now I would like to
describe the societal grid, which is essential for bringing the connectivity
for the billion people towards building the knowledge society.
Technology to Society – Societal Grid
Development of technologies and their convergence have
significant influence on the society in terms of knowledge, health care,
governance and economic development. To maximize the synergy between the
various components of education, healthcare, e-governance, rural development we
need to establish connectivities among them. These connectivities will
certainly bring seamless access and information flow among the various domains
leading to maximization of GDP and productivity; hence, there is need for
establishing the GRIDs namely Knowledge grid, healthcare grid, e-governance grid
and the PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) grid. This
interconnecting grid will be known as societal grid. Knowledge sharing,
knowledge utilization and knowledge re-use is very vital by all constituents of
the society for promoting non-linear growth.
Details of Societal Grid are:
1. Knowledge GRID - Inter connecting universities with
socio-economic institutions, industries and R&D organizations.
2. Health Care GRID - Inter-connecting the Health Care
institutions of Government, Corporate and Super specialty hospitals, research
institutions, educational institutions and ultimately, Pharma R & D
3. E-Governance GRID - Inter-connecting the Central
Government and State Governments and District and Block level offices for G2G
(Government to Government) and G2C (Government to Citizen) connectivity.
4. PURA GRID - Connecting the PURA Nodal centers with the
Village knowledge centres and Domain service providers.
These four connectivities will lead to societal
Based on my visits to all the States and Union Territories
in the country and 14 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa as the President and
meeting over one million youth, I realize that all the youth irrespective of
which country they belong to, aspire to live in a peaceful, happy, prosperous
and safe nation. What does it mean? It means that economic prosperity alone is
not sufficient. It has to be complimented with the value systems and our five
thousand years old Civilizational heritage which has genetically shaped the
Indian people. I personally believe, when the nation is progressing towards
economic development, it is also essential to build education with value system
drawn from our Civilizational heritage. The good human life comes out of the
way we live; we may have series of problems. But the billion people have the
connectivity which gives us the united strength. To meet the challenges of such
a missions for the nation institutions like IIIT have to play an important
My best wishes to all the participants on this function for
success in their mission of promoting Information Technology in Orissa.
May God bless you.
(Release ID :22519)