President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called upon Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to provide local technical solutions in order to reduce dependence on the West.
The PM especially asked the IITs to contribute towards rapid construction of cheap, eco-friendly but structurally sound houses to fulfil the government’s “Housing for All” scheme. He also wanted IITs to make user-friendly innovations for the railways.
Inaugurating a conference of chairmen of boards of governors and directors of IITs at Rashtrapati Bhawan, Modi remarked, “Science is universal, technology must be local.”
Modi also pointed out India’s dependence on imports in defence equipment, health sector, sensitive and security-related items like currency ink and tear gas. He egged on the IITs to make the country self-reliant in these sectors.
“I refuse to believe that India does not have the talent to make these things,” Modi said.
President Mukherjee added that even as India was sending satellites of many countries in space, it was still importing technology in many key areas ranging from security features and papers for the Indian currency to defence equipment.
“The IIT council should focus on how IITs can meet technology needs of the government and become a harbinger of the vision – ‘Make in India’ and ‘Made in India’,” Mukherjee said.
The Prime Minister also pitched-in the idea of IITs adopting local engineering colleges and mentoring them.
He also said that the IITs should provide innovative solutions to common people’s day-to-day problems as well.