Bhubaneswar, Nov. 16: Union minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSME Nitin Gadkari today underscored the need for appropriate use of technology and policy decision to take the country move forward. “A lot depends on vision, technology and knowledge as it can convert waste into wealth,” Mr. Gadkari said while addressing the 6th Convocation of the SOA Deemed to be University here. The country, he said needed to place greater focus in this area while steps should be initiated to strengthen the knowledge base.
The union minister said after a Malaysian engineer had informed him about a new technology in which steel fibre was being used in place of steel for construction of bridges and flyovers to reduce cost.Gadkari said he had decided to get it checked by engineers and “It was found to be true.” The use of steel fibres reduced the construction cost by 25 per cent,” he said adding “the need was to think out of the box.”
Research is also on to use bio-fuel for flying aircrafts and a SpiceJet flight from Dehradun to Delhi had flown using 25 per cent Jatropha oil as aviation fuel, he said adding the focus was on bio-fuel development. Gadkari also stressed on development of agriculture stating that it was an area which held immense potential to generate employment.
Lauding SOA for its focus on research, he said the Deemed to be University had contributed greatly in the field of higher education. “SOA is not only recognized today at the national level but also on the international platform,” he said referring to the university being ranked globally recently. Addressing the function Odisha Governor, Prof. Ganeshi Lal said technology and innovation, though required, were not enough as one needed to have a peep into theology.
The convocation was also graced by union minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan and Odisha Higher Education, Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment, Dr. Arun Kumar Sahoo. SOA Chancellor Prof. Khageswar Pradhan presided over the function while the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Amit Banerjee presented the report. Registrar, Prof. B.B.Pradhan was also present. Honoris Causa (Doctor of Science) was presented on the occasion to Prof. Debiprosad Duari, a distinguished scientist in the domain of astronomy and astrophysics, who is presently the Director of the Birla Planetarium at Kolkata.
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Amit Banerjee said SOA had been ranked among the top 25 universities in the country for two consecutive years of 2018 and 2019 while it had broken into world rankings by being placed in the 600 plus category by the Times Higher Education (THE) World Ranking. The university was ranked within the top 50 universities in the country in the QS India Ranking this year, he said adding SOA had been granted Graded Autonomy by the UGC while three of its technical programs had been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) of USA.
Prof. Banerjee said altogether 167 Ph.D. degrees were being presented to the scholars at the convocation in addition to four Chancellor’s Gold Medals and 132 University Gold Medals to the students who had excelled.