‘Integrity key to India’s progress’

19 Oct

Corruption is not the territory of politicians alone in today’s India, where we are battling common enemies such as healthcare and education across states and terrorism at the global level.

Speaking at the inauguration of Prayaas, the social responsibility initiative of the Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru, former President of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam emphasised the importance of personal ethics. Integrity, he said, is key to the nation’s development. The country is striving for its place in the world post independence. “I was once asked by a young girl when we (Indians) would get to hear the song of India, when we can boast of clean rivers and high quality learning, like her brother does of America. The fact is, today, even (US President) Obama is singing the song of India. The youth has moved from asking what can the country do for them, to asking what they can do for their country. This is a great transformation,” he said.

Urging students to work and succeed with integrity, Mr Kalam stated that this is what India needs, along with a large number of creative leaders. Out-of-the-box ideas and innovation is crucial, and the role of academic institutions is of utmost importance. “Great research leads to great teaching which then leads to great research again. Solutions to the pressing issues of India, listed in the Vision 2020 document, have to come from the youth,” he said. Responding to a question by a student on the diversity of India being a boon as well as a bane, Mr Kalam said that despite our multiple cultures, there is unity in mind. He further added, “A great vision will connect its people.”

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