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India enjoys advantage of youth power: Kasturirangan

By Our Special Correspondent

CUDDALORE, MARCH 19. In the comity of nations, India enjoys the advantage of a vast youth power. More than half of its population is under 25. In contrast, by 2030, about half of the adult population in Germany will be above 65 years, and a similar situation is predicted in Japan, the United States of America, Europe and China, K. Kasturirangan, former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, said today.

Delivering the 71st convocation address at Annamalai University at Chidambaram, Mr. Kasturirangan said if the Indian youth were equipped with quality education, they could play a major role in all knowledge-based activities.

The global trend was towards knowledge societies — where the flow of knowledge, compared to money, across borders would be relatively easy. India had seen tremendous developments in different spheres of activity, and for its accomplishments in the field of space, the world community had recognised it as a significant space-faring nation.

However, in facilitating quality of life to every citizen, it had still a significant unfinished agenda. Achieving socio-economic progress to the level of the developed nations should, therefore, be the priority of the country.

It was heartening that when the bigger economies had slowed down, India was slated to sustain its economic growth at an average rate of 5 per cent for the next five decades. This implied that India would overtake the Japan's GDP (gross domestic product) by 2032, said Mr. Kasturirangan.

The space scientist said other countries were looking at India as a potential marketplace and outsourcing destination.

The Governor-Chancellor, P.S. Ramamohan Rao, gave away prizes and degrees to the graduates and administered an oath to them, in the presence of the Pro-Chancellor, M.A.M. Ramaswamy.

The Chancellor honoured 179 Ph.D holders, 69 medal winners and 141 rankholders. While 1,573 candidates obtained the degrees in person, 1,13,287 candidates (including the distance education streams), took the degree in absentia.

The Vice-Chancellor, L.B. Venkatrangan, read out a report on the academic performance, social welfare activities undertaken by the institution and the size of grants from multifarious agencies for pursuing research. He said the National Assessment and Accreditation Council had accorded four-star status to the university.

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