Youths to be destructive force, unless given opportunity:Kakodkar

Bhubaneswar: Noted nuclear scientist and former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Dr Anil Kakodkar on Friday warned that the country`s youth force could well turn into a major destructive force unless they are provided with opportunities to fulfil their aspirations.

"There is a need for some urgent actions in this regard, as otherwise this powerful engine of growth and development could turn into a major destructive force," Dr Kakodkar said while addressing at the first convocation of IIT, Bhubaneswar.

Stating that India`s large number of youths must be provided with opportunities for constructive engagement, Dr Kakodar said: "We are in a way passing through a critical phase. Are we well prepared for this transformation?"

He said that quality education that prepares young people to embarrass the changing scenario would be the key to success. There is all important question on the availability of access to quality education for every one, he said. "While future holds great potential if we are able to manage the challenge of providing quality education to all, there are serious threats on the horizon if we are not able to do so quickly," he said.

Stating that India is now bouncing back after years of foreign rule, Dr Kakodar said: "We have an unparallelled demographic advantage with the largest youth force. Indian youths have demonstrated their capabilities through their impact both in technological as well as in economic terms, here as well as in countries abroad, for example in the US."

Identifying challenges ahead, the veteran scientist said that proper management of policies and threat to time tested Indian value system must be addressed.

Expressing joy over the first convocation of IIT, Bhubaneswar, director Prof Madhusudan Chakraborty said that in view of the state`s exposure to natural calamity, the institute has set up two schools like School of Earth, Ocean and Climate Science and School of Mineral, Metallurgical and Material Engineering.

A total of 94 students were conferred with degrees on the first convocation. While 28 students graduated in civil engineering, 36 got degree in electrical engineering and 29 in mechanical engineering. One student was awarded Ph.D in electrical engineering.