Dr. Suresh Das, Executive Vice-President, Kerala State Council

  for Science, Technology and Environment,

Prof. Debashis Chatterjee, Director, Indian Institute of

                                        Management – Kozhikode [IIM-K],

Shri Ranjit Srivenkatesh, Managing Director, Future Kerala

Financial Daily,

Shri Kainakari Shibu, General Manager, Future Kerala Daily

Friends in the Media,

Priyappetta Sahodaree Sahodaranmare

Ellaavarkkum Ente Namaskaaram,


       I am very happy to address you at the Valedictory function of the second edition of Future Kerala Educon     organized byFuture Kerala, regional language business and financial daily.

       Let me at the outset, compliment the organizers on their decision to honorthe achievements of the leading figures in the field of Education. It is befitting that a Conference on the Fourth Industrial Revolution & Kerala Education is also being organized as part of the conclave. 

       We live in an era when Education and Industry have become so interdependent that one cannot flourish without the other.  Therefore, a conference of the leaders of the industry, education, and thought leaders is of great relevance. It is also commendable that this conclave reviews our educational achievements with a view to charting a strategy to leverage the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

While talking about the future, it is customary for most of us to recall the works of American writer Alvin Toffler and his arguments about how the speedy convergence of science, capital and communications could recast society and human thought. We had experienced it in the last few years and now most of what he predicted sound very ordinary.  But, what the Fourth Industrial Revolution has in store is in fact, a series of astounding changes, some of which are beyond our imagination. 

       But, that does not mean we should sit back and let the change overpower us. We are aware of how the first Industrial revolution mechanized our methods of production, how the second revolution energized progress through electricity and how the third used electronics and digital technology to automate the entire world. The Fourth Revolution builds on the Digital foundations, causing a hitherto unseen fusion of technologies that erases boundaries of the physical, digital, and biological spheres. It is disrupting almost every industry in every country, heralding even a transformation of   systems of production, management, and even governance through concepts like Artificial intelligence, Block-chain and so on.

       All these may sound difficult to manage, but these changes open before us an ocean of opportunities in terms of education, employment and an easier life. Our education should attune our society to these new technological and scientific advances. Our syllabus and mode of education should accommodate the disruptive technologies characteristic of the Post digital age and our youth must be equipped to start ventures that would bring qualitative changes in the lives of ordinary people.

We are aware of how Artificial Intelligence could be used to improve the lives of farmers and help the differently abled people. Similarly, block-chain could be applied to a variety of services including those of the government. That the World Economic Forum has partnered with Government of India to utilize the possibilities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is ample evidence of how India and especially Kerala could benefit from this revolution.  After all, Kerala has the best connectivity, highest mobile penetration and a digitally empowered society that embraces novel ideas with ease.  What is needed is only an Education that is receptive to such ideas. It is here that the role of Education entrepreneurs comes in.

       Moreover, India is at the threshold of what is being described as a demographic dividend, with the largest number of youth in the employable age. Our institutions have to concentrate on imparting the skills that would help our youth to corner the opportunities that come up.

       I would also like to caution against our obsession with low end careers in digital technology.  The knowledge and skills we impart to our students should instill in them a craving for higher knowledge through research. Innovation and Research should be the keywords in the higher education sector in the coming years.  

       Incidentally, I must inform you that Kerala now has a   stronger desire for quality in higher education, which is evident from the increasing number of our Universities figuring in the National Institutional Ranking Framework of the Ministry of Human Resources Development. This positive change is also visible in the increase in the number of colleges getting the accreditation of National Assessment and Accreditation Council [NAAC] and the National Board of Accreditation [NBA].

       Quality must be a passion for every institution.  Recently, we saw many engineering institutions suddenly gearing up to meet NBA standards, just because some Arabian nations refused to employ Engineers whose colleges were not accredited by NBA.  It is sad that we needed an international refusal to think of standards and quality.  The mindset of our edu-preneurs must change to see quality as a basic norm.

       I personally congratulate all the 18 persons on whom the Future Kerala Educational Excellence Awards have been conferred today.  I understand that the selection is from fields as diverse as Space Science, Fisheries, Information Technology, Engineering, Management etc.  I am happy that among the choices made by Future Kerala, there are three Kerala based national institutes which have set models in higher learning.

       Among the five eminent persons receiving the special honour today, I have known the work of Dr. K.S. Radhakrishnan, former Chairman, Kerala Public Service Commission and
Dr. Debashis Chatterjee, who leads the Indian Institute of Management at Kozhikode once again.  I also congratulate Prof. Abraham Koshy, Prof. P.O.J. Lebba, Dr. Paul Chellakumar and Engineer H. Ahinus on receiving this honour.

       I sincerely hope that the deliberations of this conclave would be helpful in remodeling our education system to suit the needs of the coming years.

I greet all the delegates and experts who have participated in this Conclave and request their continued interaction with the education sector.

I compliment Future Kerala group for conducting this meeting in a befitting manner.

Ellavarkkum Ente Aashamsakal

Nanni / Jai Hind