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Prez urges creation of 'knowledge platform'

Kalam said such a platform could be created by integrating the core competencies of the partner countries.

india Updated: Jun 06, 2006 20:44 IST

President APJ Abdul Kalam on Tuesday called for the setting up of a "world knowledge platform" to roll out world-class products for commercial applications, using core competencies of partner countries to meet the needs of many nations.

Delivering the presidential address at the "Innovation and Leadership Forum" organised by global IT giant IBM Corporation, Kalam said such a platform could be created by integrating the core competencies of the partner countries to develop knowledge products.

"A world knowledge platform will enable joint design, development, cost-effective production and marketing of the knowledge products in various domains. Initially, the platform should connect and network the R&D institutions, universities and industries, using fibre broadband from the partner nations on selected R&D missions.

"We can use this network in the academic environments to teach courses online and share expensive equipments remotely. In the industrial environment, it can be used to design complex systems - even ones that are as complex as an aircraft, in a collaborative way using virtual prototyping concepts in the cyberspace," the President said.

Referring to the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) and networks in every domain, Kalam said the power of connectivity and collaborative effort was the key to develop any system or products.

"A technology-agnostic platform on a global scale can be utilised for the convergence of bio, nano and ICT to make the world a safe, sustainable place to live. The platform can be used to launch multiple missions in the areas of energy, water, healthcare, food, knowledge products, automobile, gene characterisation, herbal products and space-based systems," Kalam told about 10,000 IBM employees, 50 global investor analysts and thought leaders.

In this context, Kalam suggested that global tech firms, including IBM should take up specific missions to jointly design, develop and manufacture handheld tablet PC with a multilingual capability and an open source operating system.

"Students should be able to use this as a digital book, notebook and as an e-learning device, which will reduce their carrying load and will be useful for their whole educational duration.

"The one-time investment must make the life of students easy, giving them enough time to be creative in studies. The tablet PC should have wireless connectivity and video capability to become an entertainment platform and be used for tele-education and telemedicine," Kalam pointed out.

In a bid to make tablet PCs affordable to students, teachers and researchers in developing countries, the president advised IBM to collaborate with the Indian tech industry to develop integrated hardware and software system to configure and produce them for selling at $150 per PC.

"A tablet PC at $150 will be useful to the 300-million Indian students, besides thousands of common users, professionals and executives of multiple countries," Kalam asserted.

Design and development of embedded systems integrated with hardware will have tremendous application in automobile sector, railways, consumer electronics, aerospace systems, defence systems and precision manufacturing, he said.

Recalling the vision and contribution of IBM founder Thomas J Watson, Kalam said the phenomenal growth of IBM over the decades was due to the motivational and visionary slogan "Think" gave by Watson.

"I realise how Watson's vision has led IBM to became a giant in computer science and technology. In fact, it has enabled the company to cross the Atlantic and become global and borderless.

"Today I am witnessing here the impact of IBM in India and on the Indian youth which is a beautiful tribute to the founder of IBM," the president said.