New York: Polytechnic Institute of New York University, America`s second-oldest private engineering school, has conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering on Sam Pitroda, adviser to Indian Prime Minster Manmohan Singh.
Delivering the keynote address at the school`s 157th Commencement here Friday, Pitroda urged the class of 2012 to recognize technology as the key to social change and inclusive growth, not only economic prosperity.
"How do we use connectivity to address the challenges of the 21st century?" he asked and himself answered: "India has been growing at a rate of 8-9 percent and everywhere, I see technology as the key driver. To me, technology is a great social leveller."
"Technology is the key in the 21st century. The challenge of today is inclusive growth, access and equity," said Pitroda, who grew up in the small village of Titlagarh in the Indian state of Orissa without electricity, running water or access to education and went on to earn two masters degrees and revolutionise India`s telecommunications infrastructure in the 1980s.
"We need affordable, scalable, and sustainable solutions," he said. "My advice to you is that hard work and discipline is the key to your success. There is no shortcut."