President Ram Nath Kovind today said the overall gender imbalance in scientific and technological institutions was be a matter of concern. He said that the true test of India's progress lay in the access and opportunities it provided to girls in education. He was addressing the faculty and students of Andhra University College of Engineering for Women here after laying the foundation stone of an e-classroom building and an incubation centre. "The overall gender imbalance in our scientific and technological institutions continues to be a concern," he said. "A true test of India's progress is in the access and opportunities we provide to our daughters when it comes to education," Kovind said. He exuded confidence that this centre would enhance the countrys capacity to produce high-quality women engineers and technologists. "I am happy to note that 40 per cent of students in Andhra University are girls," he said. "Some of our leading defence and space scientists who have powered our missile programmes and rocket launches are women.
Last week, I was privileged to felicitate Tessy Thomas, known as the Missile Woman of India, at Agra University," the President said. The President, who also declared open the Centre for Defence Studies in Andhra University, said research related to defence and military applications and technologies had multiple benefits. "As experience in other countries has shown, research in defence technologies can also lead to innovations that have diverse civilian applications," he said. Kovind said that the Internet, information technology and space technologies have changed the human society and all of these have either originated in or seen accelerated research in defence technologies. He said that it would provide a "tonic" to the Make in India programme to innovate, develop and manufacture military technology and equipment. Lauding the Andhra University professors and researchers for their collaborative efforts in defence projects, including the Brahmos missile development programme, the President hoped the university would continue to be a technology hub for the country. Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Union Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapati Raju, Deputy Chief Minister N China Rajappa, Visakhapatnam MP Kambhampati Hari Babu, AU Vice Chancellor Nageswara Rao were among others who attended the function.
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