Address By H.E. Baraka H. Luvanda, High Commissioner Of The United Republic Of Tanzania To India At The 16th International Conference On Science, Engineering And Technology: Sustainable Development For Human Comfort Held At Vellore Institute Of Technology, Chennai, 2nd April, 2018.

Our Young and Dynamic Vice President & Our Host,

Our Guest of Honour,

Pro- Vice Chancellor,

Dean of School of Computer Science and Engineering,

Mister Convener,

Faculty Members,

Invited Speakers,

Members of the Press,

Dear Participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen.


Namaskar! Good Morning!

Let me begin by saying that I did not have any difficulty in accepting your kind invitation to join you today for some reasons. First, the fact that this was going to be my maiden visit to this part of this Great Nation put a lot of anxiety in me. Secondly, the privilege and honour attached to the invitation was another reason.

That you settled on me, out of more than 150 Ambassadors and High Commissioners based in New Delhi was something to be honoured. And then of course my two good friends – Gaurav and Parul, who stood their insistence that I should seize opportunity. I am very thankful to them and wish quick recovery to Parul.

But it is also true that the theme of this Conference namely: “Sustainable Development for Human Comfort,”reasonates well or rather is commensurate with the agenda of any country in the world at present.

So, it really gives me immense pleasure to be in your midst this morning for the 16th International Conference on Science, Engineering and Technology. I want to sincerely thank the Management for inviting me to be part of this knowledge sharing event. I also wish to thank you for the hospitality extended to me and also for the warm reception. I must also express my sincere appreciation for organizing my visit to the Golden Temple. It was such a unique experience that will stay with for my lifetime. Thank you so much.

I know or rather I am aware of the great deal energy and dedication that accompanied the preparations for this Conference and I commend the Organizing Committee and those “behind the scene” for the job well done. In fact, the Committee has proven wrong those who would have thought a Committee is a group of the unwilling appointed by the unfit to do the unnecessary.

Let me congratulate the Management of VIT for its farsighted vision in setting up such an eminent institution. What we have been told started as a small engineering college in 1984 right here, in Vellore, has grown exponentially to spread its wings to different States of India.

It is on record that the growth in the last 34 years has been tremendous, with enrolment of more than 35,000 students from all over India and from more than 50 countries. And am glad that your University has close ties with Tanzania and that 04 students from there are studying here. I believe the number will grow as we continue to consolidate this relationship. The knowledge and experience that they will bring back to Tanzania will certainly help us advance the quest for social, economic, and scientific development. As a representative of my country, I cherish, with gratitude, the opportunity that VIT has given my compatriots and hope that they will replicate by putting to use the knowledge acquired in this conducive environment.

Distinguished Participants,
Dear Friends,

It would not be an overstatement saying that VIT has done a great job by conceiving and establishing this platform. From what we have heard these conferences have proven to be useful in disseminating knowledge and also in sharing the outcomes of research on recent technologies.

I was informed that the conferences are held in every semester to provide opportunities for research scholars and for faculty members to present their research findings in emerging areas of science, engineering, technology, management and humanities. Universities which are the fountainheads of cutting edge research.

It is no wonder that VIT has emerged as a leader in research publications in the country with this kind of conducive research atmosphere. I was happy to learn that VIT also provides research associateship to scholars to encourage and to inspire them to carry out quality research

Mister Vice President,
Dear Participants,

As stated earlier, this conference is a benchmark event for disseminating research knowledge. In fact, attending such conferences provides to us an opportunity to learn something new and explore newer knowledge domains. It is common knowledge that the developments in science and technology in the recent past have been mind- boggling. Changes in the technological field are occurring rapidly, and if we do not keep pace with these changes, we will be left behind. It is for Universities such as VIT to take these changes to the common man.

Mr. Vice President,
Dear Participants,

The Internet has changed the ways to learn things and how we communicate. Two decades ago, we had to wait for a couple of days to get a response from our counterparts in other parts of the world. We had to physically visit libraries to collect some materials for research or to learn new concepts. But the Internet has now opened the floodgates of knowledge and it has broken the barriers of learning.

It is for us to positively exploit the Internet for our benefit. Today’s students can access the best of educational resources on their mobile phones, which has paved the way for expanding the horizons of knowledge. At the same time, our students are exposed to the all those bad stuff from these gadgets. Yet, there are many pessimists who decry the power of the Internet. This phenomenon will continue for some more time because we are transitioning from the traditional modes of learning to digital platforms.

Take for instance, the way the Internet has changed banking systems for the common man. Ten years ago, we had to stand in queues in banks to withdraw money. Today, digital transactions and ATMs have made it possible to operate bank accounts without visiting the banks.

It is heartening that India is on the cusp of a digital revolution, and I am especially happy that VIT is at the forefront of bringing digitization to this country. Your digital modes of learning and evaluation are setting the tone for other institutions to follow.

The present generation of learners, the Gen Z or the digital natives, cannot imagine a world without the Internet, especially when it comes to the Social Media. The times are changing and therefore we need to sail with the tide if we should be relevant in the world today.

Mr. Vice President,
Distinguished Guests,
Dear Participants,

I have been briefed that this conference is being organized in every semester by a certain School of the University. This is a good example of decentralization and shared responsibility. It provides opportunities for the faculty and students of the School to plan and organize the event in a meticulous fashion.

This time around, it is the School of Computer Science and Engineering that is organizing the event. And as you all know, the domains of computer science and engineering are at the core of our everyday activities. The community is facing many challenges such as network design, security, and prevention from cyber-attack, IP resource management, big data and artificial intelligence.

I see this conference as a platform where experts and professionals from computer science and engineering will share practical knowledge and technology, as well as openly debate on policies that best work for individual operators and the community, at large. An interesting aspect of this conference is that all the Schools of the University will be conducting parallel events as part of the event.

I am also happy to note that the conference covers a broad range of areas of engineering, technology, management studies and science. Fields of knowledge such as biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, mathematics, physics, Chemistry, languages and management are being addressed.

I understand that more than 1300 internal registrations and 250 registrations from various colleges and universities have been received. This is an encouraging number and I am pretty much sure that majority of the conference papers will be published in reputed journals. I am equally optimistic that participants will acquire new skills and knowledge from the two-day conference.

Given the enormous impact of science, technology and innovation on the environment and society, I would encourage participants to take active part in the deliberations to bring about a meaningful impact on the society and the people. It is indeed a matter of fact that the role of science, technology and innovation is immense as many studies have shown that some investment in Research and Development have helped countries to break through.

The example of the telecom industry in the developing economies such as Brazil, China and India which grew as a result of public expenditure in R & D bears testimony to the success achieved by Science and Technology in economic development

Again, it has been found that the application of Science, Technology and Innovation has not only played a role in economic development, but also it has helped in building institutions and society. For instance, block chain technology, which is still in its nascent stage of development and application, has already been put to social uses such as channelling funds for Ebola in West Africa, verifying election results and even helping some green technology companies raise funding.

The use clean technology is an area where Science, Technology and Innovation have had the maximum impact. The use of biofuels, solar energy panels, wind energy and other sources of renewal energy have not only proven to be environmental friendly but also helped in reducing long term costs. With the right government support, a robust intellectual property regime providing ready incentives for innovation, the possibilities for technology to help us achieve many of the Sustainable Development Goals are more than evident.

Equally important, in the 21st Century, we see the use of technology furthering environmental conservation everywhere, the use of electronic cars made a reality , solar heating and electricity panels and even the use of block chain to facilitate investment in green technology are all functioning and economically profitable examples.

By way of conclusion, it may be said that the 20th Century saw the domination of nations that achieved the industrial revolution early in their history which led to wanton destruction of the environment. An open question follows, could a green technological revolution in the developing countries reverse the effects of industrial revolution, striving towards the SDGs?

Once again, I congratulate the organizers for their wonderful contributions to the success of this event. And for the Founder and Chancellor of the noble Institute, I wish to reiterate my heartfelt appreciations to him and the entire VIT team for the laudable efforts in lighting up the lives of thousands of youngsters.

And this reminds of the passage I set on one day from one Aditya – an Indian of Nepalese origin, now with Canadian citizenship, quote:.." In life you always get more than you deserve or less than what you deserve. You never quite get just the right amount. If you get less, you must work harder and smarter, and if you get more than,you must give back…" I see the Chancellor keeping up to this proposition and I thank him for showing us the example.

You have helped the students experience the world in the campuses of VIT. I hope you would be able to offer your services in different parts of the world because the world needs many VITs. If you can do it in India, you can do it anywhere, including Africa in general, and Tanzania, in particular.

Finally, as I always do, let me share with you the following short but interesting anecdote: "Two friends were talking about a guy. "I will never invite him to my parties again," one said. Last time he did something I did not like." What was that?" "He came."

You invited me. I hope you meant it. And I hope I will not do or at least have not done anything to deny me an invitation to the next occasion.

I thank you for your kind attention.