Making IITs tools of India’s self-reliance

iit-modiLinking technology with India’s pursuit of self-reliance and national renewal, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to provide local technical solutions for India’s most urgent troubles in order to reduce India’s dependence on the west.

Inaugurating a conference of chairmen of boards of governors and directors of IITs at the presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi August 21, Modi added, “Science is universal, technology must be local.”

Also addressing the gathering, India’s President Pranab Mukherjee lamented it was ironic that while India was sending satellites into space, it still needed to import basic technologies, including the paper for Indian currency and defence equipment.

“The IIT council should focus on how IITs can meet technology needs of the government and become a harbinger of the vision – ‘Make in India’ and ‘Made in India’,” said Mukherjee.

The prime minister, who on several previous occasions has urged India’s scientists to take the lead in developing India’s indigenous defence industry, added, “I refuse to believe that India does not have the talent to make these things.”

Modi urged IITs  to take the lead in reducing India’s imports of technology from the west by making the country self-reliant in key sectors like defence equipment, health sector, sensitive and security-related items like currency ink and tear gas.

Science and technology should help the common man in his day-today problems. New and sustainable technologies was urgently needed, in the construction of eco-friendly houses to fulfil the government’s “Housing for all” scheme, added Modi.

Earlier, the prime minister, while addressing the India’s only defence research agency, DRDO, had urged it to work with institutions like the IITs to find pragmatic solutions for India’s key sectors, especially the production of defence equipment.

“DRDO has to decide whether it will only react to the situation, or become pro-active and set the agenda for the global community. I have hopes from DRDO because I know it has the capability to perform,” added Modi.

 

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