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‘Innovate or stagnate’: PM Modi tells engineers at IIT Bombay convocation

In his address, PM Narendra Modi said that the nation is proud of the IITs and what IIT graduates have achieved.

india Updated: Aug 11, 2018 23:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Modi at IIT,IIT B Convocation 2018,IIT Powai
PM Narendra Modi announced financial aid of Rs 1000 crore for IIT Bombay to help in its infrastructural development.(PIB/Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said innovation is the “buzzword” of the 21st century and India must be made the most attractive destination for innovation and enterprise with best ideas coming from the country’s “laboratories and students”.

“Innovation is the buzzword of 21st century. Any society that does not innovate will stagnate. That India is an emerging as a hub for start-ups shows the thirst for innovation. We must make India the most attractive destination for innovation and enterprise,” he said in his address at the 56th convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B).

Praising the IITs across the country for their role in nurturing start-ups, the Prime Minister underscored the premier institutes’ description as “a nursery of unicorn start-ups”.

Unicorns are the start-up firms valued at over $1 billion. Last year, Sage, a United Kingdom-based accounting firm, had found that IITs were the fourth largest producers of unicorn start-up founders in the world, with as many as 12 founders of billion-dollar start-ups hailing from these institutes.

Referring to the graduating students of the institute, the PM, added, “I am looking at many such unicorn founders sitting in front of me.”

Modi said India was the second largest ecosystem for start-ups in the world. “More than 10,000 start-ups are being nurtured in the country and a comprehensive funding mechanism is being set up for them,” he said.

He recalled that IITs were conceptualised to contribute to nation-building through the use of technology, and innovation and new technology will decide the future direction of development, in which IITs will play an important role. “IIT is known around the country and the world as the Indian Institute of Technology but for us, its definition has changed. They are no longer just associated with teaching of technology but have today become India’s Instrument of Transformation,” he said

Highlighting that IIT-Bombay had, over the last six decades, made a place for itself in the select group of the Institutions of Eminence by dint of sheer effort; Modi announced a financial aid of ?1,000 crore towards its infrastructural development.

He said the nation was proud of the IITs and what IIT graduates had achieved, with their success leading to the creation of engineering colleges across the country, making India one of the world’ largest pools of technical manpower.

“The confidence I can see on your faces confirms that we are moving in the right direction. It was a large number of IIT students who built the IT sector of India, brick by brick,” the Prime Minister said.

First Published: Aug 11, 2018 13:14 IST