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PM Modi seeks tech solutions from IIT alumni for post-Covid world


Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called on the global alumni base of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to come up with viable technological solutions for the emerging new world technology order post the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The world today needs viable solutions to adjust to the new normal and who will be better than you to drive this dialogue,” Modi said at the PanIIT Alumni India’s virtual summit. “Today, a large number of IIT alumni are in global leadership positions, your strong networks are spread across industry, academia, arts, governments. I urge you to debate, discuss and contribute to solutions in the emerging new world tech order.” He said the post-Covid order would be about relearning, rethinking, reinnovating and reinventing in almost every field, and this along with a series of economic reforms was what would re-energise the planet to positively impact the poor as well as the marginalised.

During some critical turning point in the history of independent India, the Indian diaspora put its faith in a resurgent India, he said, adding that they became ambassadors of a new India, and their voice was critical in ensuring that the world understood India’s viewpoint in the right spirit. “In 2022, India marks 75 years since Independence. I urge the PanIIT movement to set even a higher benchmark for giving back to India … I urge you to share more of your ideas and inputs on how we can mark 75 years of freedom on MyGov or directly with me on NarendraModi app,” Modi said. India received record investments during the pandemic, the PM said.

The total foreign direct investment into India in the first five months of this fiscal year was $35.73 billion, the highest on record for a five-month period and 13% higher than that a year earlier. “In these testing times of Covid-19 India got record investment, much of this investment has come in the tech sector. Clearly the world sees India as a trustworthy, promising partner,” he said. Modi talked of India opening up its space sector, allowing startups and private firms to build satellites and rockets and launch them from Indian soil.

“Earlier when IITs produced aerospace engineers, there was not a strong domestic ecosystem to employ them. Today, with our historic reforms in the space sector, the last frontier before humanity has opened up to Indian talent,” he said. “New space tech startups are coming every day in India. I am sure some of you will boldly go to where none have gone before. Cutting edge and innovative work is happening across many sectors in India.”

India’s space agency this week signed a pact with Agnikul Cosmos, a space startup, to help it with technology and assets to build a small rocket to hurl satellites 100 kms into space. The agency is also carrying the first satellite of Pixxel, which is building India’s first private sector remote sensing satellite fleet, on its workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

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