NEW DELHI: India needs more and more of its young women to enter the engineering and technology space, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Monday.
Addressing separate groups of trainees assistant executive engineers and deputy architects of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Kovind also said that public infrastructure like offices, residences or roads built by them should be accessible to differently-abled fellow citizens.
He said he was delighted to note that of the 97 probationers present in the gathering, 22 or about one-fourth are women.
"This is a welcome trend and must be encouraged till women reach parity in all our public services. In particular, India needs more and more of its young women to enter the engineering and technology space," the president said.
He said these are exciting times for India which is a country on the rise and the world's fastest-growing large economy.
"Our GDP grew at a scorching 8.2 per cent in the previous quarter. Many of our ambitious national programmes - such as Make In India, Smart Cities, Digital India and Swachh Bharat - cannot be successful without your efforts. Your careers will provide an enormous platform in this transformational era," Kovind said.
The president said the issue of sustainability and energy efficiency is critical in view of climate change and related environmental concerns.
"You must ensure that buildings, roads and other infrastructure you create are energy efficient and environment-friendly," he said.
Kovind said the government has launched the accessible India programme to achieve universal accessibility for differently-abled persons.
"Do ensure that the public infrastructure you build - be it offices, residences or roads - is accessible to our differently-abled fellow citizens. While formal codes in this regard may exist, projects on the ground need to do more to ensure ease of access. This aspect should not be treated as an add-on to an infrastructure project but should become integral to planning and implementation," he said.
The president said architects and engineers work in close conjunction.
"India is maturing as a country, and building larger institutions including larger infrastructure. While focusing on functionality we should also be mindful of aesthetics. Our smart cities should be efficient and people-friendly but also aesthetically pleasing," Kovind said.