Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: Former President of India
  Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam    
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19-12-2006 : Pollachi
Empowerment through Entrepreneurship

I am indeed delighted to participate in the inauguration of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Nachimuthu Polytechnic College (NPC), Pollachi. I am happy to note that NPC is creating a pool of skilled technical personnel and entrepreneurs during the last fifty years. The institute has grown from strength of around 120 students in 1957 to over 1200 students today. My greetings to all the members of the Management Committee, Principal, teachers and graduating students. During the last five decades this institute has generated over 32,000 skilled engineering professionals who have taken up important assignments in small and medium scale industries in Tamil Nadu and other States. In the years to come, I am confident that this institute will generate quality engineering personnel and entrepreneurs with the object of promoting economic development in the country, particularly in the rural sector.


Contribution of Small Entrepreneurs

Friends, I have so far visited all States and Union Territories. Various children have shared with me, what their goals are and their aims and dreams. Ninety percent of the children tell me they want to become engineers, doctors, scientists, lawyers, administrators, judges and few of them say that they want to become politicians. Only in a few states children say they want to become entrepreneurs. This emphasizes the need for creating an aptitude among the youth for taking up entrepreneurship which will enable them to become employment providers rather than employment seekers. In this situation, it is a good mission to transform as many youth as possible as young entrepreneurs. I congratulate the NPC for contributing in this direction during the last five decades.

Generation of entrepreneurs, through engineering programmes supplemented with entrepreneurial skills is important. Many people choose entrepreneurial careers, because they seem to offer greater economic and psychological rewards than the large company route. Recent experiences indicate that the economic progress of few countries particularly developed countries is due to the contribution of large number of small entrepreneurs employing less than 50 persons in their establishments. We need such entrepreneurs in large numbers in our country for developing and transforming our village clusters into sustainable economic units. I would request the Principal and Faculty Members of NPC to design an entrepreneurial curriculum for the students of this College so that they can get an entrepreneurship diploma or certificate along with the diploma in engineering subject when they pass out from this institution after a three years course. In essence, students when they go out of the Polytechnic should be inspired with the spirit that "I can do it".


Development of Entrepreneurs

The key characteristics required for a societal transformer and entrepreneurs are desire, drive, discipline and determination. I am confident that this institute will promote the following important traits among their students:-

(a) Vision and pioneering spirit

(b) Being able to see possibilities where others do not,

(c) Always searching for new opportunities and challenges,

(d) Being creative - 'able to think out of the box',

(e) Constantly striving to do things better,

(f) Confident about taking risks,

(g) Proactive and focused on the future,

(h) A good knowledge and skill base.

Now, I would like to talk about Rural Development Enterprise.


Rural Development Enterprise

The total number of villages in Tamil Nadu are around 17,000 with a population of over 7 Crore. Development of these rural areas will need the creation of 400 clusters of villages having an average population of one lakh. This could be achieved through the Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) programme for these clusters. This would involve the identification of a cluster of 20 to 30 villages with growth potential and creating physical connectivity, electronic connectivity, knowledge connectivity and thereby market connectivity. I would recommend the Institute to undertake project work for creation of at least 2 PURAs in the Pollachi region. The objective of these PURAs will be:-

a) To provide dwelling units to all village citizens with clean water supply and sanitation facilities,

b) The village complex will have 100 percent literacy.

c) Apart from upgrading existing schools, the complex will have a few colleges, world class vocational training institutions in construction, carpentry, welding, natural art; computer maintenance and services, IT Enabled Services, BPO and a Call Center. The "Sakshat" programme - a one stop education portal will be used through internet for capacity building in this region,

d) People in the PURA complex will be able to get quality healthcare through tele-medicine and also through mobile clinics via Primary Health Centres. They will be brought under a corporate medical healthcare scheme,

e) Each PURA village complex will be free from diseases like polio, TB, leprosy and malaria and other waterborne diseases. The infant mortality rate will be less than 10.

f) The PURA complex will promote horticulture and floriculture products, apart from agriculture in collaboration with the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore,

g) There will be agro-processing industries in the PURA complex for value addition to horticulture produce and Jatropha,

h) Creation of dairy, fresh water fish farms, handicrafts, and handloom in each PURA complex for providing additional non-farm revenue to farmers,

i) Revival of all existing water bodies in the PURA cluster as has been done in the Siruthuli project,

j) Provision of employment to all employable people of the village through additional jobs in dairy, agro-processing, construction, handicraft and tourism enterprises,

k) Overall the per capita income of the PURA cluster should increase by three times and people living below the poverty line should come down to zero in six years.

I am sure many of the diploma holders from NPC will create enterprises in many PURA complexes in Pollachi region and improve the lifestyle of the village community and be an active partner in the Developed India Mission. I would like to discuss with you two operational PURAs which are functioning (i) Periyar PURA in Vallam, Tamil Nadu and (ii) Byrraju PURA in Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh.

Periyar PURA (Tamil Nadu): Periyar PURA complex pioneered by Periyar Maniammai College of Technology for Women, Vallam, Tanjore is functioning near Vallam having a cluster of over 65 villages in Tamilnadu which involves a population of 1 lakh. This PURA complex has all the three connectivities - physical, electronic and knowledge - leading to economic connectivity. The center of activity emanates from the women engineering college that provides the electronic and knowledge connectivity. Periyar PURA has health care centers, primary to post graduate level education and vocational training centers. This has resulted in large-scale employment generation and creation of number of entrepreneurs with the active support of 850 self-help groups. Two hundreds acres of waste land has been developed into a cultivable land with innovative water management schemes such as contour ponds and water sheds for storing and irrigating the fields. All the villagers are busy in cultivation, planting Jatropha, herbal and medicinal plants, power generation using bio-mass, food processing and above all running marketing centre. This model has emanated independent of any government initiative. The committed leadership has been provided by the engineering institution. Recently, 5 of Periyar PURA villages are connected through Wi-MAX Wireless and having minimum 4 mbps connectivity with the Periyar PURA nodal centre. It provides a sustainable economic development in that region.

Byrraju PURA Byrraju Foundation of Satyam near Bhimavaram has undertaken the mission of establishing 32 Ashwini centers benefiting 116 villages with the population of around 500,000 people. It has provided the electronic connectivity through wireless (512 kbps to 2 mbps), knowledge connectivity in cooperation with National Academy of Construction, Hyderabad and other domain experts, thereby creating economic connectivity in these villages.

Economic Connectivity: During the last 4 years of its operation, it has skill enabled and knowledge enabled in areas such as construction, tailoring, garment production, IT and spoken English skills. This programme resulted in 3000 jobs with the minimum earning of Rs. 3000 per month, this is 3 times that of their earlier earning potential. A rural BPO Gram IT, established in Jalli-kakinada center has trained the unemployed graduates in IT skills and spoken English and employed 100 people to do the BPO operations such as transaction processing of Human Resource data of Satyam Computers as a back office processing; data processing of one million self-help-group members of Andhra Pradesh such as financial data, accounting data, spending pattern, cultural aspects under the programme of "Mapping the bottom of the Pyramid". This Gram IT BPO has effected the 10% reverse migration from Hyderabad to Bhimavaram. These PURAs will give you an insight into how the students and staff of NPC can create two operational PURA in Pollachi region.



As many of you would like to take up leadership in small and medium scale industry, I would like to talk to you about the linkage between the national economic development and creative leadership:

* Nation's Economic development is powered by competitiveness.

* The competitiveness is powered by knowledge power.

* The knowledge power is powered by Technology and innovation.

* The Technology and innovation is powered by resource investment.

* The Resource investment is powered by revenue and return on Investment.

* The Revenue is powered by Volume and repeat sales through customer loyalty.

* The customer loyalty is powered by Quality and value of products.

* Quality and value of products is powered by Employee Productivity and innovation.

* The Employee Productivity is powered by Employee Loyalty, employee satisfaction and working environment.

* The Working Environment is powered by management stewardship and sound project management.

* Management stewardship is powered by Creative leadership. For success in all your missions, we need creative leaders. Creative leadership means exercising the vision to change the traditional role from the commander to the coach, manager to mentor, from director to delegator and from one who demands respect to one who facilitates self-respect. I am sure creative leadership spearheads all the institutions and the future aspiring institutions. For a prosperous and developed India, the important thrust will be on the growth in the number of creative leaders and innovative organizations that can create wealth through dedicated management system.

My best wishes to all the members of Nachimuthu Polytechnic College success in their mission of empowering the youth with knowledge to become entrepreneurs particularly to take up the leadership of PURA enterprises in the region.

May God bless you!




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