Focus On ‘Indian’ Innovation For The Benefit Of The Poor: Sam Pitroda

KOCHI (TIP): The Government of India declared the decade 2010-20, the ‘Decade of Innovation’ to mark the importance of innovation. India is in a phase of redesigning the nation with innovation and Internet is today driving the innovation agenda. For innovation to spread in all walks of life, domain experts would be required, said Mr. Sam Pitroda, Advisor to PM on Public Information, Infrastructure and Innovation on Day III of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas at the plenary on Innovation and Technology. Mr. Pitroda said that the Government is already in the process of setting up state-level innovation councils and sectoral innovation councils. Under this initiative, each state and sector can devise its own roadmap to encourage innovation in sectors, which are of utmost importance.

India needs to create durable products and not disposable ones. The country requires its own set of innovative ideas because we cannot adapt the Western set-up as the environment differs completely. Also, the focus should be on the people who are at the bottom of the pyramid and we need to increase their earnings and employment opportunities, he added. Mr. Jagathrakshakan S, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Government of India, said, “Innovation is all about translating an idea into a product or service which can lead to value creation. We need to encourage women scientists and create an environment where private sector can become a part of this innovation drive. Also, we need to collaborate with foreign investors and experts.”

He stated that research and development is an integral part of innovation. At present, India lags far behind in R&D, hence it is the aim of the Government that by the end of 12th Plan, the share of R&D must reach 2% of GDP. Mr. Kodikunnil Suresh, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Government of India, said, “I strongly recommend that India should have an Innovation Technology Commission as a driving force to our initiatives to become a world-class, knowledgebased economy. It can support applied research and development, technology transfer and application; to nurture an innovation and technology culture in the country; upholds technological entrepreneurship; provides technological infrastructure; facilitates the developmental of human capital to support innovation and technology; and promotes internationally accepted standards and conformity assessment services.”

“The country has major challenges to address in health, food, energy and environment and these can be met by doing quality science research, showing greater inventiveness and achieving quality in product innovation,” added Mr. Suresh. Lord Karan Billimoria, UK, pointed out that innovation is the essence of entrepreneurship. Creativity is the most important for businesses to grow. Innovation is an attitude that every organization must possess today. Quoting the success story of Apple, Lord Billimoria said that innovation and creativity is all about doing a thing differently and in a better way, and then upgrade to remain competitive. Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, said that innovation is the key for economic growth. He pointed out that creativity and innovation is within us and it needs to be nurtured. Among other who spoke at the session were: Mr. P NandaKumaran, MD, State Bank of Travancore; DR. Abdool Magid Karim Vakil, President, EDISA Bank and Dr. M Anirudhan of USA.

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