On Wednesday President APJ Abdul Kalam was delighted to see that in his vision for the country's future, there is no politician, as all the students who are 'citizens of tommorow' want to be scientists aiming to go on Mars.
The surprise came from the students of Bharati Vidya Bhavan's exploratory science centre, when Kalam spent almost an hour interacting with the students on his visit to Pune.
Kalam was first surprised when 8th standard student Gautum Kundu Das asked President's opinion on "Exam and ranking system in 10th & 12th std should be stopped or not". The President paused for a second and altered the same question and asked more than 40 students present, about whether they would prefer to be scientist wanting to go to Mars or would love to become politicians.
The students' reply delighted the President as he saw future scientists in all the students, when everybody raised their hand for "Scientist", while remaining quite for later option of "politicians".
After getting the reply Kalam told students that if they want to be somebody, "one's aptitude and capacity for a particular subject has to be identified". Presently, the exam system identifies this and in the absence of an alternate system, the present system of exams has to be continued".
But for 8th standard student Arya Chitra, it was like putting her ideas into lucid form when Kalam answered her question on what is the exact meaning of 'superpower' and how will it affect poor people of this country, if we become superpower.
Kalam replied to her saying, "I also don't know the real meaning of superpower. What is needed is that we have to uplift 220 million people of our country and provide them a higher quality of life. That is the goal of transforming India into a developed nation. So you can see that reaching of prosperity to the poor people in India is vital."
Kalam also narrated stories of five great scientists of the world to students. He gave examples of Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Indian scientists CV Raman, Chandrashekhar Subramaniyam, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, who made difference to the world through scientific and mathematical minds.
Overall, the experience for the students of Bharatiya Vidyabhavan, was like a dream come true after having direct interaction with the President.