Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said in the testing times of COVID-19 India got record investment, and asserted that the world sees the country as a trustworthy and promising partner. Delivering the keynote address at the IIT 2020 Global Summit, Modi said the post-COVID-19 world will be about re-learning, re-thinking and re-inventing in almost every field.
Noting that cutting edge and innovative work is happening across many sectors in India, Modi said, ”Ours is a government fully committed to the principle of reform, perform and 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 four codes. Our corporate tax rate is one of the lowest in the world,” he said.
Referring to the Indian Cabinet recently clearing a path-breaking Production Linked Incentive Scheme in ten key sectors, Modi said this decision was taken to enhance exports as well as manufacturing. These sectors include battery, electronics, pharma, automobiles, telecom, solar energy and others. Modi said each of these sectors is related to technology. These are opportunities waiting to be utilised, the prime minister said.
Modi said in these testing times of COVID-19, India has got record investment and much of this investment has come in the technology sector. ”Clearly, the world sees India as a trustworthy and promising partner,” he said. India is witnessing a sea change in the way it works, the prime minister said. ”Things we thought could never happen are being delivered at great speed,” he said.
”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,” Modi said. That’s why new space tech startups are coming up every day in India, he added.
The collective force of the PanIIT movement can add momentum to the dream of becoming an Atmnirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India, Modi said. ”At some critical turning points in the history of independent India, Indian diaspora across the world put their faith in a resurgent India and became ambassadors of a New India,” he said.
Their voice was critical in ensuring that the world understood India’s view-points in the right spirit, Modi said. The prime minister said two years later, in 2022 India marks 75 years since Independence and urged the PanIIT movement to set an even higher benchmark for ”giving back to India”. In his address at the summit organised by the PanIIT USA, Modi said, ”I know that many of you mentor your juniors in choosing the right career paths – whether in academia or industry. Today, many of them want to start-up their own ventures. They are bright and confident youngsters trying to make a mark through their hard work and innovation”.
He urged the IIT alumni to share more of their ideas and inputs on how India can mark 75 years of its freedom. ”Our actions today will shape our planet’s tomorrow. The post COVID-19 order will be about re-learning, re-thinking, re-innovating and re-inventing in almost every field. This, along with a series of economic reforms is what will re-energise our planet,” Modi said.
It will ensure ease of living and positively impact the poor as well as marginalised, he said. ”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, And, who would be better than you to drive this dialogue,” he said.
Noting that a large number of IIT alumni are in global leadership positions and their strong networks are spread across industry, academia, arts, governments, the prime minister said, ” 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.”
First Published: IST