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Post-Covid-19 world order will be about re-innovating, re-thinking: PM at PanIIT Global Summit

Mr Modi said the number of students and alumni have also grown and the IIT brand has become stronger.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the post Covid-19 order will be about re-learning, re-thinking, re-innovating and re-inventing in almost every field as this along with a series of economic reforms 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,’ he said,

Addressing PanIIT Global Summit in the U.S through video conferencing on Friday night, Mr Modi said that a large number of IIT alumni are in global leadership positions and their 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,’ he told the summit.

Hailing IIT alumni’s spirit for innovation which is helping the world dream big, the Prime Minister said it is also among their greatest strengths. “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,’ he said.

Pointing out that the number of IITs has grown to be around two dozen, Mr Modi said the number of students and alumni have also grown and the IIT brand has 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,’ he said.

Stating that India is witnessing a sea change in the way it works, the Prime Minister said that 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,’ he told the summit.

Hailing cutting edge and innovative work across many sectors in India, Mr Modi said that his government is 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,’ he told the gathering.

He recalled that the Union Cabinet had recently cleared a path-breaking Production Linked Incentive Scheme in ten key sectors 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, he said.

“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,’ he added.

The Prime Minister said the collective force of the Pan-IIT movement can add momentum to India’s 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,’ he said.

He said that in 2022 India will mark 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,’ he said inviting IIT alumni to mentor bright youngsters in their tech and start-up efforts.

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