Saturday, January 09, 2010

Opportunity for overseas Indians to tap knowledge sector: Sam Pitroda

India’s knowledge sector offers great opportunity for overseas Indians to join hands with the country in its high growth trajectory and invest in its future, Sam Pitroda, adviser to Prime Minister, said on Friday. “Though the country recorded more than 7% growth over the last five years, the next challenge is inclusive growth,” Mr Pitroda said at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, adding that the biggest challenge before the country was to build an effective information infrastructure that will ensure efficient delivery of public services. He said that there were opportunities for the diaspora in India in areas of information technology, knowledge and innovations.

The IT sector enabled by the telecom revolution of the 1980s has today become an industry with exports to the tune of $60 billion. IT could also play an important role in addressing issues related to governance and inclusive growth, Mr Pitroda said. Elaborating on innovation, Mr Pitroda said that in addition to the innovation in products and services, innovation was also required in processes, governance and organisation. This provides an opportunity for collaboration to the diaspora, he said. “I request you to engage with India, knowing this is a great window of opportunity,” said Mr Pitroda, regarded as the father of India’s communications revolution.

Speaking on ‘Diaspora: Role and Expectations’, Mr Pitroda said it was imperative for the country to look at the future of its population below the age of 25 — who today numbers over 550 million. “We now plan to build 30 new national universities and 40 new innovation universities,” said Mr Pitroda, adding that the government has allocated $67 billion for education in the 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-2012).

Sharing the opportunities in the education sector, he said that the proposed 30 new national universities, 14 innovation universities and the skill development projects provide attractive engagement opportunities for the diaspora. According to him, all these offered a unique opportunity for overseas Indians to join hands in building new universities and working at these institutions, while also improving vocational education system in the county. “We have to create a new Indian model,” said Mr Pitroda.

Source: The Economic Times, January 9, 2010

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