The report card of the nations character growth shows a disturbing downward trend, Wing Commander (Retd) Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian to visit space, said here on Friday.
Delivering the fifth A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Lecture on the theme Making of a Professional at the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) here, Mr. Sharma said corruption had taken root in both personal and professional lives in the seven decades since Independence.
Societal norms and value systems that were intrinsic to the concept of Indianness had been diluted, he said.
The professionals of tomorrow must first resolve the conflict in their minds as to what constitutes success, Mr. Sharma, who flew aboard the Russian Soyuz T-11 spacecraft in 1984, said.
Success itself needs to be redefined. Is it only financial wealth, is it just a high salary, a fancy designation which gets you a corner office, or is it professional fulfilment, he said. The time to mull over this aspect and decide which way you want to go is at the start of ones career. Because it decides the trajectory of ones approach and attitude towards work, he said.
In former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, we have the perfect role model, Mr. Sharma said.
Professional to the core
He practised in his life all that he preached in his lectures to the youth of our country. He was a professional to the core. His diligence and dedication carried him through a remarkable and challenging career, all the way to the top, he said.