Shri Sundaram Shrinivasan,
Pan IIT USA,
I am delighted to join you all today. I have had the opportunity to address convocations at IITs in Chennai, Mumbai, Guwahati and most recently, at Delhi. I am always impressed after interacting with students from IITs. I also come back refreshed and reassured about the future of India and our planet.
You are sons and daughters of India, who are serving humanity. Your spirit for innovation is helping the world dream big. It is also among your greatest strengths. Perhaps it comes second only to your technical and management skills. Someone should calculate the cumulative contribution of IIT alumni to economic value across the planet. I am sure it would compare with the GDP of a nation that has a reasonable size.
There was a time, when a gathering like this would have included alumni from just five or six IITs.That number is growing now, and is close to two dozen. The number of students and alumni have also grown. At the same time, we have ensured that the brand of IITs has only become stronger. We in India are strongly committed to promote science and technology education in India. You would have noticed that in recent times, a culture of hackathons is developing in India. I have also had the opportunity to be a part of some of these hackathons. In these hackathons, I see young minds giving out-standing solutions to national and global problems.
We have been working with many countries in South East Asia and Europe in this area. Our aim is to ensure that our youngsters get an international plat-form to showcase their skills. And, learn from best practices globally. Starting 2nd October, on Gandhi Jayanti, India hosted the Vaibhav Summit.
Lasting for nearly a month, this Summit brought together top-quality talent in the fields of science and innovation. The number of participants was about Twenty-three thousand. There were 230 panel discussions. Almost 730 hours of discussions. This Summit was productive and it sets the tone for future collaborations in science and innovation.
India is witnessing a sea change in the way it works. Things we thought could never happen are being delivered at great speed. Let me give a small example from a field you know well. Earlier, when IITs produced aero-space engineers, there was not a strong domestic industrial eco-system to employ them. Today, with our historic reforms in the Space sector, the last frontier before humanity has opened up to Indian talent.
That's why new space tech startups are coming up every day in India. I am sure some of you will boldly go where none have gone before"! Cutting edge and innovative work is happening across many sectors in India. Ours is a Government fully committed to the principle of "Reform, Perform, Transform".
There is no sector left out from our reforms. Agriculture, Atomic Energy, Defence, Education, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Finance, Banking, Taxation. The list goes on. We have brought path-breaking reforms in the labour sector, assimilating 44 Union labour laws into just 4 codes. Our corporate tax rate is one of the lowest in the world.
A few weeks ago, the Indian Cabinet cleared a path-breaking Production Linked Incentive Scheme in ten key sectors. This decision was taken to enhance exports as well as manufacturing. The sectors include Battery, Electronics, Pharma, Automobiles, Telecom, Solar energy and others. Each of these sectors is related to technology.These are opportunities waiting to be utilised.
In these testing times of COVID-19, India has got record investment. Much of this investment has come in the tech sector. Clearly, the world sees India as a trustworthy and promising partner.
The collective force of the PanIIT movement can add momentum to our dream of becoming an Aatmnirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India. At some critical turning points in the history of independent India, Indian diaspora across the world put their faith in a resurgent India. They became Ambassadors of a New India. And, their voice was critical in ensuring that the world understood India's view-points in the right spirit.
Two years later, in 2022 India marks 75 years since Independence. I urge the PanIIT movement to set an even higher benchmark on "Giving back to India.'' Your efforts for your alma mater are well known and inspiring. I know that many of you mentor your juniors in choosing the right career paths - whether in academia or industry. Today, many of them want to start-up their own ventures. They are bright and confident youngsters trying to make a mark through their hard work and innovation.
Now, I invite you to mentor them in these efforts too. I urge you to share more of your ideas and inputs on how we can mark 75 years of our freedom. You could share your views MyGov. Or, you can share it directly with me on the Narendra Modi App.
Our actions today will shape our planet's tomorrow. The post Covid-19 order will be about: Re-learning, re-thinking, re-innovating and re-inventing in almost every field. This, along with a series of economic reforms is what will re-energise our planet. It will ensure 'Ease of Living' and positively impact the poor as well as marginalised. We also saw how several innovations that came out during the pandemic emerged from collaboration - between the industry and academia. The world today needs viable solutions to adjust to the new normal, And, who would be better than you to drive this dialogue? Today, a large number of IIT alumni are in global leadership positions. Your strong networks are spread across industry, academia, arts, governments. You are there in practically every sphere of human activity and excellence.I myself interact with one or more of your tribe every week, if not every day! I urge you to debate, discuss and contribute to solutions in the emerging New World Tech Order.The responsibility is heavy, but I know that your shoulders are capable.
With that, I extend to you my best wishes for this year's conference, correctly themed as "the future is now". It certainly is.
And thank you.