BENGALURU: Union minister for environment, forests and climate change Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said that the biggest challenge for India is to start owning innovations rather than being just contributors.
At the three-day Engenius Conclave organised by Unacademy webinar, in association with The Times of India, Javadekar said every major tech company always had Indian brains at its disposal and held a major market share in India or elsewhere.
“When we look at big names such as Google, Facebook or Microsoft, they all have Indian brains behind them. We are major contributors to any innovation in technology,” he said.
In a pep talk to students preparing to crack GATE and Engineering Services Examination (ESE), Javadekar said students need to look to wealth creation by realising their potential by taking bold steps to invest in technology.
Responding to a question whether the Centre is making progress in providing employment to engineers graduating in large numbers, he said one avenue is providing opportunity to bring indegenious technology to the forefront in the nation’s policies.
“When we launched hackathons, our intention was to build the capacity of our students to innovate and brainstorm to develop technology for solutions that don’t exist in our country. Divided into teams of six and asked to work together for three months, students have been ideating for solutions. This will sharpen their minds and make them think big. Instead of seeking jobs, they can become job creators,” he said.
Javadekar said 5 lakh engineering students have participated in hackathons organised by the central government. Admitting that a lot of work needs to be done in changing mindsets, Javadekar cited a Bengaluru-based student who had innovated 5-D printing technology. “Along with the presentation, this boy gave me a brochure of 63 rejections from Indian industries and universities. Today, the same boy collaborates with 15 foreign-based companies and 16 universities abroad. We need to identify these hidden gems,” he said.
About the new National Education Policy, Javadekar said the Centre had held a long-term exercise in formulating the policy with noted scientist K Kasturirangan and Princeton-based mathematician Manjul Bharghav being the brains behind it.
“The policy is already being implemented across the country and based on the efficiency of state governments, the NEP will be completely implemented in the next two years,” the minister said.
Despite allegations against India from the international community of being a major contributor to rapid climate change, Javadekar said we are well within the parameters of ensuring less than 2 degree change in temperatures as per the Paris Accord.
He said the government is currently at 7% carbon emission contribution in the world, with 25% of land mass and 4% of rain water. “All this with the task of feeding 16% of the world’s population,” he said.