Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu Wednesday said climate change, growing levels of pollution and eradicating poverty were some of the major challenges faced by the modern world and out-of-the-box ideas were required to tackle them. Participating in a function, here, he said, the challenges faced by the modern world were multi-dimensional and there were increasing urbanisation and industrialisation on the one hand and agrarian distress on the other.
"Climate change, growing levels of pollution, increasing demand for energy, eradicating poverty are major challenges that require innovative and out-of-the-box ideas.", he said. The government and the private sector need to step up the funds for taking up research and development, he said.
"Similarly, the linkages between the academia and the industry have to grow organically", he added. Naidu was here to inaugurate the Centre of Excellence for Manufacturing of National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovation at Vel Tech University, Avadi.
Holding that innovation, incubation and start-ups were the buzzwords in today's world, he said, it was time for India to seize and promote the culture of innovation and technology-based entrepreneurship. India has to stay ahead of the curve if it has to play a meaningful and important role in the fourth industrial revolution, Naidu said.
"Innovation, incubation and start-ups are the buzzwords in today's word and countries which are knowledge-centric and technology-driven will play an increasing role in global economy," he said. India is a tremendous demographic dividend that was waiting to be realised, the Vice-President said. "We have to stay ahead of the curve if we have to play a meaningful and important role in the 4th industrial revolution," he added.
Pointing out that 65 per cent of the Indian population was below the age of 35 years, he said, "We need to convert this huge human capital into a force multiplier for the economy by technologically empowering the youth." The Vice-President said, the country has an opportunity to focus on innovation in the field of education to meet the global competition.
"But this requires tremendous transformation from reorienting the curriculum framework to refining the infrastructure with the sole objective of imparting world class quality education," he said. Innovation and entrepreneurship are going to be the twin engines that propel India to a new era of economic prosperity and social inclusion, he said.
The country was producing lakhs of engineering graduates every year and the need of the hour was to provide the right eco-systems to make India a leader in start-ups and technology-driven high growth ventures, he said. "Therefore, it cannot be business as usual. We have to press the accelerator to be in the forefront of a new technology driven world...," he said.
The Global Innovation Index has ranked India in 57th position ahead of many smaller countries, Naidu said, adding, "we need to focus on reorienting our higher education system, particularly engineering and scientific streams, to ensure students come up with solutions to the problems faced by the country and world"..
(With inputs from agencies.)