He was speaking at the IISc. convocation
Science and technology are driving the world. And business and commerce are an outcome of technology and science changes, said Uday Kotak, MD and CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank, who was the chief guest at the Indian Institute of Science’s (IISc.) convocation hosted virtually on Wednesday to confer degrees upon students who graduated in 2020 and 2021.
As many as 110 students were awarded medals during the ceremony, while 1,832 PhD and Master’s students, and 204 UG students received their degrees.
Terming it a regret for not having studied science, which reflected the mood of the time, he said: “There was a disproportionate emphasis on commerce, finance, and economics. That has completely changed. The pace of change of science is mindblowing. The base principles of science and maths are at the heart of who we are, adaptation to the reality of the external world and making it of use to human consumption is the way we need to think about this,” he said.
Offering COVID-19 as an example, Mr. Kotak said the term geography has become history. You suddenly find the world becoming so much closer. The way we operate is the reflection of this fast-changing world, he said, changing to a virtual reality from a physical world in a short span of time. “The speed of change can be dramatically different,” he added.
Mr. Kotak said there are three ways of looking at the situation now: new normal, next normal, never normal. “We will have to forget the concept of normalcy. The world will keep changing. How students will deal with this is the true test of fundamentals of what you’ve learnt,” he said, adding that as for AI and ML, in the battle between man and machine, both can win. “Machine learning also comes from a human brain. There will be contrarians. But it is an important lesson that there’s no ultimate to change. At best, there is a comma. The constancy of this paradigm changing is what institutions will grapple with,” he said.
A.S. Kiran Kumar, Vikram Sarabhai professor and former Chair of ISRO and former secretary of DOS, and Chair of IISc. council, was the guest of honour.
Since the inception of IISc. in 1909, more than 20,000 students have graduated from the institute. IISc. offers PhD and Integrated PhD programmes, several Master’s programmes, and a four-year BSc. (Research) programme. During the convocation, the institute announced starting of medical courses from next year.
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