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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Political ill will impeding innovative projects: Pitroda

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, January 31, 2013
First Published: 22:48 IST(31/1/2013) | Last Updated: 22:54 IST(31/1/2013)

Sam Pitroda, adviser to the Prime Minister on public information infrastructure and innovations, has termed political ill will as the biggest hurdle in the implementation of innovative projects.

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Addressing the faculty and students at Panjab University (PU) here on Thursday, Pitroda said, "Almost all states have come up with the innovation cluster, but I'm sure hardly any state government operates it or knows how to do it. It has been put in place because Pitroda (sic) was after their lives."

The brain behind the country's telecom industry quipped that he wouldn't have dared to work in India had he known what it took to operate here.

He said the National Innovation Council had come up with a software which would allow access to all major documents containing information about various states. "We have a list of 20 countries which want this software from us and we are in the process of making it available to them.

The sad part is that we ourselves are yet to put it in place as states have been delaying the information for six months now. This is a classic example of political ill will, where all appreciate the idea but none is contributing to get it implemented," said Pitroda.

The PM's adviser lamented the slow pace at which the country was functioning. Citing the judicial system, he said there were 15 judges for every 10 lakh people in India, whereas in the US, there were 150 for the same population.

He said the education system needed overhauling, while exhorting students to become entrepreneurs rather than waiting for jobs. Pitroda also suggested to PU vice-chancellor Prof Arun Grover that the age-old syllabus and teaching methods had to be changed. He said teachers needed to be mentors as loads of information was already available on the internet.

Pitroda said even his two-year-old granddaughter was using Skype (a software for making phone calls free of cost) to talk to him. He said one had to face the knowledge explosion if one wanted to grow.

His address was followed by questions and suggestions from students.

'Break-and-make' centres
Sam Pitroda said Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had liked the idea of 'tod phod jod centres', which could be set up soon in all government schools of the state.

In these centres, students will be asked to break an instrument/object and then fix it back so as to learn innovation. About 2,500 such centres are already running in schools of Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

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