HT education summit: India will soon become world’s start-up capital, says Subhas Sarkar

Published on Aug 24, 2022 11:52 PM IST

Delivering the keynote address, Sarkar said that India has already achieved the tag of “a skilled manpower nation” and many top companies of the world are led by those educated in India.

Minister of state for education, Dr Subhas Sarkar, addresses the Hindustan Times Education Summit 2022, in New Delhi. (Sanjeev Verma/HT)
Minister of state for education, Dr Subhas Sarkar, addresses the Hindustan Times Education Summit 2022, in New Delhi. (Sanjeev Verma/HT)
By, New Delhi

India is home to more than 100 unicorns, which was unthinkable a decade ago, and will soon become the “world’s startup capital”, Union minister of state for education, Subhas Sarkar, said at the first edition of the Hindustan Times Education Summit on Wednesday.

Delivering the keynote address, Sarkar said that India has already achieved the tag of “a skilled manpower nation” and many top companies of the world are led by those educated in India.

“Therefore, it is the correct time that we must think of creating our own Google, Microsoft, etc. With the launch of Start-Up India, Make In India, Atal Incubation Centres, Atal Tinkering Labs, Atal Innovation Mission etc., our government has sown the seeds and results are visible for everyone to see,” he said.

“Today, India is home to more than 100+ unicorns which was unthinkable a decade ago, but as they say, our government has made the required ‘disruption’ and soon, India will become the world’s start-up Capital,” Sarkar said.

Unicorns are privately held startups valued at over $1 billion. According to a statement issued by the government in May this year, India got its 100th unicorn on May 2, 2022. The 100 Indian unicorns are valued at $332.7 billion.

During his address, Sarkar also discussed about the government’s Smart India Hackathon 2022 initiative that intends to provide students a platform to solve the pressing problems of the government, various ministries, departments, industries and other organisations.

“This itself is an innovative step in governance, where young minds are involved in solving some of the pressing challenges of our times. These young minds will be leaders of tomorrow. Let us all strive to create a generation of leaders who will lead India in various fields and attain the goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India),” the minister said.

Sarkar said that keeping the Indian philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (world is one family) at the core, it should be the collective aim of all Indians to make India “a global knowledge superpower”.

He further said that with the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, India will be promoted as a global study destination for providing premium education at affordable costs, thereby helping restore its role as a Vishwa Guru (world leader).

Emphasising on the initiative taken by the government for “internationalisation” of education, Sarkar said that there is a demand for student mobility, not just in the form of outgoing students, but even in the form of incoming students. “India is a popular study destination for students from SAARC, African and Central Asian countries,” he said.

The minister said that, so far 179 universities in India have established offices for international affairs and 158 universities have set up alumni connect cells.

“All this shows that education has become more internationalised and the demand for quality education goes beyond geographies,” he said.

Sarkar also emphasised on the Indian traditional knowledge system and said that several modern day concepts were already followed by Indian ancient universities centuries ago.

Citing the example of Vallabhi Vidhyapeeth, a centre of Buddhist learning founded by the Maitraka dynasty of Saurashtra around 600 CE, the minister said, “The university taught science, wisdom, theology, economics, accounting, law, agriculture, etc. Graduates of Vallabhi Vidyapeeth were employed by the King to assist the government. Can it be called ‘campus placement’ during that era?” he asked.

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