Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that innovation and enterprise would be the foundation stones for a developed India, and asserted that societies that do not innovate stagnate. The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have built brand India globally and now become an "instrument for transformation", he said.
Addressing the 56th annual convocation of IIT-Bombay, he said that innovation is the buzzword of the 21st century and in order to create an environment of research, impetus is being given to higher education infrastructure. The nation is proud of the IITs and what their graduates have achieved. The success of IITs has led to the setting up of several engineering colleges around the country, the Prime Minister said.
"They (engineering colleges) were inspired by the IITs and this led to India becoming one of the world's largest pools of technical manpower. The IITs have built brand India globally. It was the large number of IIT students who built the IT sector in India brick by brick, or should I say, click by click," Modi said.
7 lakh engineering students pass out every year, he said, adding that a collective effort is required to ensure that they get a high quality of education and acquire the necessary skills. Dwelling on the history of the IITs, the Prime Minister said that they were conceptualised to contribute to nation building post-Independence through use of technology.
He said earlier, Indians in the IT sector were considered hardworking and intelligent, now India has become the destination for IT development and IIT graduates are at the forefront of some of the best startups in the country. "These are the startups which are also at the forefront of solving so many national problems," Modi said.
In the coming two decades, innovation and new technology will decide the trajectory of growth in the world and the role of IITs in this will be very important, he said. "Be it 5G broadband technology, artificial intelligence, block chain technology or machine earning, these are techniques that will play an important role in the vision of smart cities," Modi said.
"The IITs have not just remained institutions of technology learning but have become India's "instrument for transformation", the prime minister said, adding that the IITs are one of the biggest sources of the technological revolution. The world today sees the IITs as the nursery of unicorn startups (those valued at over !1 billion), Modi said.
This is just the beginning as in the future their value can be over $1 trillion. There are dozens of $1 billion startups in the world that have been launched by IITians, he said.
"Innovation and enterprise are going to be the foundation stones for making India a developed economy. Start Up India and the Atal Innovation Mission launched by the Centre have resulted in India becoming the world's second largest ecosystem for technology," the Prime Minister noted.