Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today that IITs have built brand India globally and their success has helped India become one of the world's largest pools of technical manpower.
Innovation is the 'buzzword' of the 21st century and any society which does not innovate will stagnate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the 56th annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) during its ongoing Diamond Jubilee celebrations on Saturday.
"If you don't innovate, you will stagnate. It is not just the government efforts. New ideas come from young minds at campuses and not government buildings and fancy offices," the prime minister said.
Dwelling on the history of IITs, Modi said they were conceptualised to contribute to nation-building post Independence through use of technology.
Modi said all the IITs have built brand India globally and their students are at the forefront of some of the best startups in India. "The nation is proud of IITs and what IIT graduates have achieved. The success of IITs led to the creation of engineering colleges around the country. They were inspired by the IITs and this led to India becoming one of the world's largest pools of technical manpower," he said.
He said innovations, along with enterprise, shall be the foundation for making India a developed economy and pave the way for a long-term sustainable, technology-led economic growth of the country.
The Prime Minister pointed out that India is now looked upon as a nursery of unicorn start-ups (worth more than a billion dollars), for which one of the biggest source of talent in this revolution are the IITs in the country.
"That India is emerging as the hub for start-ups shows the thirst for innovations... We must make India as the most attractive destination for innovations and enterprise," Modi added.
"We must build on this... It will not happen only through government efforts but by youngsters here... The best ideas come in their minds and not in government offices," Modi said.
He appealed to the young IIT graduates to innovate in India. Innovate for humanity — mitigating climate change to ensure better agricultural productivity, water conservation, clean energy, combat malnutrition, effective waste management and other areas.
Earlier, the IIT-B conferred an honorary Doctor of Science on former alumnus, Romesh T. Wadhvani, the founder-chairman of Symphony Technology Group in California, US.
Modi gave away gold medals to three top distinguished students of IIT-B and silver medals to 43 others in various categories.
Later, Modi inaugurated the new building of the Department of Energy Science and Engineering and the Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering, at the IIT-B, that has been selected as one of the Institutions of Eminence by the government.
Present on the occasion were Maharashtra Governor CV Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, IIT-B Board of Governors Chairman Dilip Shanghvi, IIT-B Director Prof. Devang Khakhar and others.