Kolkata, June 29 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday dubbed “dogmatism and rigidity” of mind as the biggest deterrent in the way of progress and development and called upon people to be open to new ideas. Also Read - 'Turban Episode a Blatant Human Rights Violation': West Bengal Governor Calls For Rectification

Addressing the inauguration of the year-long celebration of the 125th birth anniversary of P.C. Mahalanobis at the Indian Statistical Institute, Mukherjee said a tool of development might be useful or degrading and it all depended on how it was used. Also Read - NIA Arrests: 'West Bengal Has Become Home to Illegal Bomb-making,' Governor Takes Swipe at Police

“Sheer dogmatism and rigidity of the mind were the biggest obstructive forces in the way of progress and development and should always be avoided,” he said. Also Read - Jadavpur Row: Police Stop ABVP March to Varsity, Protesters Pelt Stones at Cops

The President referred to the role of the public sector, “which has been put to question many times.

“During the last 10 years, the public sector enterprises have contributed Rs 17.87 lakh crore as taxes and accruals, which is 1.5 times of the gross investment made on them,” he said.

The President revealed that 138 out of about 300 public sector enterprises were operating in the country now, with most of them making profit.

Mahalanobis’ birthday is observed as the National Statistics Day.

Paying homage to Mahalanobis, Mukherjee said a big banyan tree attracted all the mighty minds and thus an institution of great pride was born.

On the occasion, a pictorial album on Mahalanobis, prepared by the photography department of ISI, was formally released by West Bengal Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi. The first copy was handed over to Mukherjee.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.