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Enabling ecosystem for R&D must for India to become a developed nation: Venkaiah Naidu

By Express News Service

PUDUCHERRY: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday urged educational institutions to have an increased interface with the industry to promote result-oriented research that will address contemporary challenges such as climate change, pollution, health, and poverty.

Inaugurating the Puducherry Technological University (PTU), Venkaiah Naidu stressed the need for creating an enabling ecosystem for research and development (R&D) if India is to move ahead and become a developed nation. “If you look around the world, you will find that it is the cutting-edge research in science, technology and other fields that put developed countries ahead of the rest,” Naidu said. 

He said that even after so many years of independence, 22 to 23 percent of the population is still living below the poverty line and 20 percent of the people are illiterate. There is a need to focus on issues of poverty, gender discrimination, root out caste barriers, said the Vice President.

ALSO READ: Educational institutions in Puducherry fare poorly in NIRF rankings

The Vice President also urged the industry to come forward and extend their support to young entrepreneurs by handholding, funding and incubation. Improved Industry-Academia Partnership is also much required to give a further fillip in this direction, he said.

Stating that India has the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem, he said that there are over 50,000 startups spread across 623 districts in the count, according to data from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade. With the government opening up the space sector for private players, more than 40 tech start-ups are working in the field of satellites, launch vehicles and other space-based applications. Among them, leadership teams of 45% of startups have a woman entrepreneur.

With 54 percent of Indians below the age of 25, India has the largest youth population in the world, which is the strength of the country. If this young and aspiring population is skilled properly, the youth can drive the nation forward through productive output and innovation. Hence institutions like Puducherry Technological University should infuse a spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship and experimentation among the students.

The Vice President exhorted state governments, colleges, universities and institutions to make sure that the syllabus includes the life and teachings of great leaders and stalwarts of the country like Sri Aurobindo, Subramanian  Bharathi and others. The colonial rulers projected their history, their rulers their achievements and their leaders, he said and added that students should take inspiration from Sri Aurobindo, Bharathiar by knowing their life and ideals. Quoting Sri Aurobindo, “What we want here is not merely to give you a little information, not merely to open to you careers for earning a livelihood, but to build up sons for the Motherland to work and to suffer for her…””, he suggested that the life and teachings of great Indian leaders should be included in school textbooks.

Puducherry Lt Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, Chief Minister N Rangasamy, Home Minister A Namassivayam holding the Education portfolio also spoke at the inauguration. Speaker Embalam R Selvam, Ministers, Deputy Speaker, and MLAs also participated in the event.

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