BENGALURU: Academic experts, innovators, start-up founders, ministers and bureaucrats said the country is witnessing exciting times. They were speaking at a full-day meeting of innovators in the city on Saturday. The event — InnoFest 2015 — a gathering of the best minds in the country was held at the Indian Institute of Scicence.
IISc Director Prof Anurag Kumar said, “There is a mood change in the country and the city. The kind of innovations that IISc students are capable of go beyond Jugaad. They can add their expertise to areas of diagnostic tools, clean water, safe pesticides, etc. They are being taught to study subjects in depth by their teachers and research guides.” He added, “Today’s youth are not really in the need of a job. They are risk takers and can follow their dreams.”
“India’s issues will not be solved by business as usual,” said Nandan Nilekani, former chairman of UIDAI. He said, “One needs to innovate in every area and then leverage the idea on a larger scale.”
Sharad Sharma, co-founder of the iSpirt Foundation said, “India is witnessing activism around causes. We are here to make India proud by an innovation-led entrepreneurship movement.”
Mohandas Pai, chairman of Manipal Global Education Services said, “Today, the GDP of India is $2.5 trillion. In 10 years, it will become $5 trillion. Today, there are 18,000 start-ups in India. Our real heroes are innovators. They must get a tax break of at least 10 years.”
Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha and Minister of State for Urban Development Babul Supriyo spoke on the need to solve challenges in India and its need to have innovations.
Sinha said, “Innovations in America look after the needs of the top one billion people in the world. The rest of the six billion and their needs can be looked after by India if it can solve the challenges that are faced by it.”
Biotechnology entrepreneur Dr Kiran Majumdar-Shaw said, “I was probably one of the first woman entrepreneurs, who started out 35 years ago. These are exciting times for young people in India.”
There was a short question-and-answer session during the programme when youngsters spoke about their dreams for India. Some said, they dream of an India where parents don’t push their children, while others said they dreamt of an inclusive society. Some outlined the need for better teachers.
Playing a Tune
Singer and union minister Babul Supriyo entertained the audience with his witty speeches and three songs from popular Hindi movies. He sang a song from his album and songs from ‘Hum tum’ and ‘Apna sapna money money. He was dressed in a pair of fashionably torn jeans and commented upon them. He said, “It is easy to change one’s clothes. I have decided to do some good work and only then will I proceed to change my ways of dressing up.”