Confident that IITs, NITs will find solutions to address pollution issue: Prez

NEW DELHI, Nov 19: President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday exuded confidence that the IITs and NITs, with their specialisations, will be able to find solutions to address the problem of air pollution as well as create sensitivity among students and researchers.
Kovind made the comments at the annual ‘visitor’s conference’ at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, attended by directors of 23 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), 31 National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and Indian Institute of Engineering Science And Technology (IIEST), Shibpur.
“This is that time of the year when the air quality of the national capital as well as of many other cities worsens beyond all norms. Many scientists and futurologists have painted doomsday scenarios. On days of smog and poor visibility in our cities, we fear the future might already be here,” Kovind said.
“I am sure that your institutes, with your various specialisations, will find a solution and take care to create a sensitivity and awareness among students and researchers towards our common future,” he added.
With the air quality levels touching the “emergency” mark, various IITs have come forward to work on solutions to address the issue including identification of upwind districts in Punjab and Haryana from where crop burning contributes maximum to pollution in Delhi-NCR and a study on identification of brick kiln clusters which contribute most to pollution levels in Delhi-NCR.
“We are facing a kind of challenge here that we have never faced before. Hydrocarbon energy changed the face of the world in the last couple of centuries, but now it is threatening our very existence. The challenge is compounded for nations battling to bring substantial sections of populations out of poverty. Yet, we will have to find alternatives,” Kovind said. The president said that after the Government’s efforts to improve India’s ranking on the Ease of Doing Business Index, the aim is now to improve the Ease of Living for all citizens.
“How can we move forward in that direction, and make life easier for all, especially those on the margins of society? Later this week, Governors of states will be here in Rashtrapati Bhavan and this will be one of the major points of deliberation in their conference. I am sure there are solutions in the area of governance,” he said.
“From the technology perspective, I am confident your institutes can make the most crucial contribution to this cause. Improving urban infrastructure, making water supply systems efficient, making healthcare delivery more effective – there are countless ways technology can make dramatic difference in the life of an average Indian,” he added. (PTI)