Chennai [India], Sept. 10 : President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday called on the youth of the nation to step up and volunteer themselves in the service of the nation, adding that young men and women need to work tirelessly and selflessly, even at the peril of their lives in the service of India.
Reviewing the passing out parade of the summer term at the Officers Training Academy here, the President said in his address that India requires now more than ever, that young men (and) women take up challenge of guiding nation through troubled waters.
Speaking to the newly commissioned batch of cadets, the President added that an onerous task awaits each one of them in defending the nation and protecting its integrity.
"Always remember there are more than a billion Indian fellow citizens looking up to you every moment with admiration, awe and respect for what you are, the great Institution you serve in and what you are expected to do for this Nation at the time of reckoning.
On your shoulders and through your professionalism may the Indian Army rise to even greater heights," he said.
Asserting that India's security challenges go much beyond conventional borders and conventional threats in the international arena, President Mukherjee stated that time and again, the nation has fallen back on the Armed Forces in internal crisis situations, both manmade and natural.
"The 21st Century has ushered in its own set of challenges. Though turbulence and uncertainty have manifested all along in the history of mankind, this century is witnessing chaos and strife of a very virulent nature encompassing asymmetric warfare involving both state and non state actors," he said.
Warning the cadets that their leadership abilities will be tested under fire literally when they are battling odds that seem insurmountable, the President called on them to remember there are a billion hopes pinned on them.