Singapore University Honours Abdul Kalam

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Singapore University Honours Abdul Kalam

Singapore President S. R. Nathan on Tuesday conferred on the former President, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, an honorary degree of engineering at a solemn convocation at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) here.

The citation, read out by Su Guaning, NTU president, hailed Mr. Kalam for being “a great role model” as a defence scientist “who exemplified scientific and engineering excellence, ambitious and realisable goals and dedication to the cause of his country.”

“The Science and Technology theme was prominent during President Abdul Kalam’s visit to NTU in February 2006.” And, the citation concluded on a similar note :

“We look forward to his advice, as Singapore, in particular Nanyang Technological University, builds close links with the great ancient civilisation of India, cultural well-spring of Singaporeans and a major force for peace and prosperity in the 21st century.”

University vision

Mr. Kalam, in his acceptance speech, outlined a “21st century university vision.” The universities “have to prepare citizens of the future with a global outlook” in an ambience in which “Science and Technology and public policy are interrelated.”

Calling for “innovative content generation in virtual classrooms” in a world where good teachers could be found anywhere, he suggested “technological connectivity among universities” to tap this global “resource.”

Noting that “a new paradigm for Science and Technology” was needed in this milieu, he identified tasks such as the “evolution of a clean atmosphere” by “replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy from sun, wind, and nuclear systems”;

“gene-characterisation through the proteomics project for developing gene-based drugs”; multi-media applications through the mobile phone; sustainable rural development; and the understanding of natural phenomena like earthquakes and tsunamis.