Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji,

Hon’ble Governor of Haryana, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya

Shri Dharampal, Adviser, U.T.

Sh. Rajinder Gupta, Chairman Board of Governors of PEC

Prof. Baldev Setia, Director, PEC

Dear faculty members, staff members, students and Ladies and Gentlemen

I am elated to be with you all today to celebrate 100 years of Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh. As the Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh, it gives me immense pleasure to greet and congratulate the administration, faculty, staff, students, and the alumni on this propitious occasion. This institute of excellence and eminence has provided enriching technical education since its inception in 1921.

This premier institute of technical education in Northern India has its roots in Mughalpura, Lahore, Pakistan. It was established as Mughalpura Engineering College on November 9, 1921. From being affiliated with the University of Panjab, Lahore in 1931 to being shifted to Roorkee post-partition in 1947, as East Punjab Engineering College, it eventually shifted to Chandigarh as Punjab Engineering College (PEC) towards the end of 1953 to function under the Govt. of Punjab. Finally, with the formation of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, it came under the control of the Chandigarh Administration. In 2003, it achieved the status of a Deemed University.

The history of Punjab Engineering College draws close connections to the needs and expectations of the nation in the past, the industrial revolution, and emerging technologies. In 1962, when it was felt that the Indian Air Force did not have enough engineers to maintain its aircraft, PEC proved that it could fulfil any targets and goals to serve and protect the nation’s integrity by giving India its first 17 graduate Aeronautical Engineers in 1964. Later in 1982, the newly established Aeronautical department produced one of the most celebrated alumni of the institution, named Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian woman to go to space. Over the years, PEC has always provided future generations with extraordinary facilities and resources. It has been a guiding light for many young intellectuals and has produced some of the most refined talents this world has ever seen. The glory of the alumni of this institute is evident from Dharam Pal, Advisor to the Administrator, sharing the stage with me today, being a graduate of this prestigious institution. This institute has also given the nation dignitaries like Dr. Satish Dhawan who is regarded as the father of experimental fluid dynamics research. Dr. Dhawan was also the first Chairman of the Indian Space Commission. Jaspal Bhatti, an acclaimed satirist, Mr Sandeep Bakshi, the MD & CEO, ICICI Bank, Vandi Verma, Chief Engineer Mars 2020 Perseverance Robotic Operations, NASA are a few of the most distinguished alumni this institution has had.

PEC has always valued the importance of formal education and a compassionate mind equally. Throughout these years PEC has not only created exceptional leaders but has also taken the bar of quality education a notch higher. After over a year and a half of lockdowns and facing so many challenges that the pandemic brought as a society, we are blessed to stand here and celebrate such a momentous occasion of this esteemed institution. The strength of character shown in the spirit of perseverance makes PEC a gem of a higher education institute.

The guiding light of a mentor is of utmost importance in shaping the future and personality of an individual and this institute has established itself over the years in successfully being able to do that with the help of its considerate and supportive teachers and staff members.

The National Education Policy 2020, the brainchild of our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi Ji has taken special care to incorporate the vision of Swami Vivekananda and places great emphasis on technical and vocational education, professional and skill-oriented education, in order to educate youth to become self-reliant with dignity. National Education Policy 2020 has also taken a huge step by liberating education from the shackles of compartmentalization into science versus arts/humanities, making learning flexible, humanistic and oriented towards making educated youth noble citizens and good human beings. Our ancient spiritual texts explain the relationship between the teacher and student and as to how both have to grow together in the process of learning.

This institute is recognized worldwide as a leader in the field of engineering education and research. The level of research in PEC has undoubtedly gone up in past years with the advent of more research and development facilities. In the year 2018, PEC signed a Memorandum-of-Understanding with Siemens, following which Siemens opened their state-of-the-art labs within the institute with an investment of 100 crore rupees.

Our future progress will depend increasingly on our ability to innovate, to devise efficient processes for the industrial sector and better solutions for governance. For that, it is necessary to permeate the spirit of innovation to all sectors – business, government, education and society. Our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has been spearheading the Indian innovation strategy to focus on generating ideas that promote inclusive growth and benefit those at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid. There are many grassroots innovations that can be developed into suitable products if provided with technological support.

Our higher academic institutions must play an important role in mentoring such innovative endeavours. PEC has built links with peer universities and institutes, both at the national and the international levels, to enhance research and enrich its educational programs. As a result, the alumni have distinguished themselves through their achievements and contributions to the industry, academics, research, business, government, and social domains. The graduates of this institute have been and are going to be the drivers of our economy and development.

Our success in taking advantage of the demographic dividend depends upon how we convert our youth into productive human resources through education, skills and values. As the institute steps into its Centenary year, I wish PEC all the glory and success. I would also like to express my delight in being a part of the centenary celebrations of this esteemed institute.

Let us all continue to strive together to build this institute as a world-class institution of excellence and contribute to India’s role as Vishwa-guru.

Thank you,

Jai Hind.

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