Toronto: India has urged the IITian diaspora to invest in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Startup India campaign to promote a culture of innovation in its ancestral land.
Speaking at the 2016 International Conference of the IIT Alumni Canada which brought over 400 IITians from the US, Canada and Australia to Toronto, Indian Consul General Dinesh Bhatia urged the IITian diaspora to make the Startup India campaign a success.
India is now an over $2 trillion economy and there are huge offers huge opportunities for IITians to become part of its success story, Bhatia told the techie conference, which, this year, is focused on “Towards a Sustainable and Prosperous Future: Focus on Technology, Health and Environment”.
Canadian Science Minister Kirsty Duncan, MPs, and mayors joined in welcoming the IITian gathering which also included the director of IIT-Hyderabad and the deans of IITs in Mandi and Chennai.
Duncan, who was dressed in a sari for the occasion, lauded the role of the IITians in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in Canada. She said the theme of the conference is in tune with agenda of the Canadian government, which wants to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.
Linda Jaffrey, mayor of the Indian-dominated city of Brampton on the outskirts of Toronto, invited the IITians to become partners in the progress of her city which is one of the fastest growing in Canada.
One of the highlights of the conference was a live toy-making demonstration by India’s famous IITian Arvind Gupta who chucked his job with Tatas in 1978 to promote the love of science and innovation among India’s underprivileged children.
Showing his fellow IITians how he engages poor children by turning discarded household items — such as newspapers, matchboxes, broom sticks, rubber slippers, electric bulbs, film roll box, and pencil boxes — into toys, Gupta made an impassioned plea to the IITian diaspora to contribute to the education of India’s poor children.
Conference co-chair Raghu Nayak said” “IITians stand for innovation and these bright brains at the conference have highlight how we can integrate innovation to solve global problems of poverty, diseases and pollution. Since technology caused most of the current problems facing mankind, we think it is the technology that will solve these problems.”
Canada is home to over 1,000 hugely successful IITians, including billionaire Prem Watsa who is called the Warren Buffett of Canada.