The engineering community should be able to contribute their skills to help Kerala tide over the technological travails it is facing after the August floods and landslides, IT Secretary M Sivasankar said Saturday.
Such an effort would be timely, given that 'God's Own Country' was going through a particularly tough time, he said after the inauguration of 'Maker Fest' and a conclave of IEDC (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre) near Kanjirappally, about 40 km from here.
The massive monsoon-time calamity has rendered 80,000 people in Kerala homeless.
"To find resources to rebuild their houses is a major challenge," he said at the function at Amal Jyothi Engineering College, where 4,000 students assembled to enhance their innovative skills, network, share ideas, form tech teams and get tips on launching startups.
Sherry Lassister, president of the Fab Foundation, a decade-old US non-profit organisation, said it was wrong to assume that technological advances would slacken employment opportunities.
"There could be less jobs in some sectors, but there will be several new ones coming up in others," she said.
As a key architect of the MIT global initiative for field onsite technology development, Lassister urged startups to go for products and services that are of global use, instead of benefiting just local communities.
Sivasankar said there should be more reliance on pre-fabricated building techniques that use inexpensive items.
The engineering community should deliver technologies that benefit society, the top bureaucrat added, noting that such an attitude can brighten the prospects of entrepreneurs.
The KSUM's mission was to ensure that 50,000 students benefited from its activities, he said.
Organised by the Kerala Startup Mission in association with Ahmedabad-based MotwaniJadeja Foundation, the event aims to nurture a maker culture in the new generation.
(With inputs from agencies.)