“The time has come rediscover our lost heritage and give something back to the world.”- CM
“Earlier people would compete with their fellow villagers but now, due to the highly interconnected nature of the world, people compete globally and hence innovation has no longer remained a choice but has become an imperative.” – CM
Emphasizing the importance of providing encouragement to innovators, the CM mentioned several concrete steps taken by the Government of Gujarat to provide impetus to innovation.
Shri Modi shared several anecdotes about Gujarat's innovative governance practices.On Wednesday, 09 January 2013, Shri Narendra Modi addressed an Innovation Symposium at the Ahmedabad Management Association. Speaking at the event, the Chief Minister said that earlier people would compete with their fellow villagers but now, due to the highly interconnected nature of the world, people compete globally and hence invention has no longer remained a choice but has become an imperative.
The CM expressed concern that in a fast changing world, while on the one hand population is increasing rapidly there is no increase in the availability of resources. To highlight his point, the CM gave the example of pulses and said that while pulses were a major source of protein, there had been no major research on their production. If such research had been conducted earlier, it could have helped in mitigating nutrition related issues.
Shri Modi shared several anecdotes about innovative governance practices in Gujarat. Speaking about an innovation in the kite making industry he said, “When I became CM in 2001, I decided to empower the kite making industry. To do this I hired a Market Research Team, and found out that to make a kite, the manufacturer had to travel to 32 places. After further research, we were successful in reducing this number to 13. Then we realized that bamboos used for kite making were imported from Assam. After making some genetic modifications the specific variety of bamboos were made available in Gujarat. Thus, the cost associated with the process of kite making was substantially reduced. Furthermore, we extended this research to sugarcane and today Gujarat has been getting prizes for its sugarcane quality.”
Shri Modi talked about the ‘out of the box’ of the Gujarat Government which resulted in Jyotigram Yojana, which has provided a major boost to the state’s development. He said, “It has always been common in Indian villages to have power for only 6-8 hours per day. In fact, the situation was so dire, that in 2001, everyone that I interacted with, told me to provide electricity at least during dinnertime. There was a huge short fall of 2000 MW. After giving it a thought, I realized that by separating feeders for household and farmland power we could substantially reduce power thefts and increase the provision of electricity to domestic households. Despite many obstacles, we have been successful in providing 24 hr electricity to the people of Gujarat.”
Recalling a conversation he had with the Prime Minister, Shri Modi said, “There is fencing on the India-Pakistan border; the quality of land is also very good. I suggested to the Prime Minister that we install solar panels instead of the fence. While they would not only produce electricity, the solar panels would also act as barriers and keep our borders safe. The PM liked the idea but I am awaiting action.”
Highlighting the power of Ideas, the CM said that ideas had the potential to produce change. To stress his point, the CM mentioned a breakthrough innovation, which has captured the imagination of the world. He said, “Gujarat has the longest network of Canals. We installed Solar panels on canal tops. They not only produce electricity but also reduce water losses, occurring due to evaporation.”
Further, the CM sought to give a new meaning to Corporate Social Responsibility by suggesting the inclusion of research and innovation in CSR programs.
Emphasizing the importance of providing encouragement to innovators, the CM mentioned several concrete steps taken by the Government of Gujarat to provide impetus to innovation. He said, “Earlier there used to be just one Science fair in the entire state. Now we are conducting 250-300 science fairs every year. I make it a point to visit as many as possible. This provides encouragement to schoolchildren. Additionally, I make it a point to meet with those students who have excelled in innovation by conducting ground-breaking research and if necessary provide them assistance.” Further, the CM laid out his plan for developing an excellent incubation centre, in Ahmedabad, which is to be chaired by Mr. Narayan Murthy.
The CM urged the people to look at India’s glorious heritage and recall the many innovations that have happened in India over thousands of years. He highlighted past innovations of our ancestors like the invention of the number zero and mentioned instances from Hindu texts, which indicate the use of path-breaking technology. Speaking about it, the CM said, “The time has come rediscover our lost heritage and give something back to the world.”