CII summit to focus on scaling innovation, skills

Bengaluru, Aug 5 (IANS) With the government setting the agenda for a economic rebound through ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ programmes, India Inc. is bracing up to meet the twin challenges of scaling innovation and building capacity to develop skills.

“As innovation plays a key role in progress, economic growth and job creation, we are looking at scaling it and enhancing capacity for skill development,” India Inc. executive member and Infosys co-founder S. Gopalakrishnan said on Wednesday, ahead of a two-day innovation summit here.

Organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the 11th edition of the ‘India Innovation Summit’, beginning on Thursday, will focus on ‘Realising the national dream of scaling local innovation’.

“Since Bengaluru is ranked among the most innovative cities the world over, we are looking at how innovation and start-ups can play a bigger role in realising national priorities such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’,” Gopalakrishnan told IANS on the occasion.

Besides flagging major initiatives spanning agricultural innovations, smart cities, financial inclusion, integrated transport systems and regional start-up systems, the summit will brain-storm on ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’.

“The summit is an ideal platform for stakeholders in the three key sectors of the economy — services, manufacturing and agriculture — to explore the dynamic entrepreneurship environment across the country, which holds opportunities and challenges,” Gopalakrishnan asserted.

The apex industry body is holding the summit here in view of the presence of large companies, government institutions, R&D centres, top medical facilities.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who will inaugurate the summit and address the industry’s captains, will take the opportunity to personally invite participants to the state government’s Global Investors Meet (GIM) in November here to attract investments from India and overseas in the state.

“Though we are largely an agrarian economy, with over half of its working population engaged in this sector, manufacturing is a significant driver of sustained economic growth and job creation,” Crayon Data co-founder and chief technology officer I. Vijaykumar said.

For any developed country, its manufacturing sector has been a key to prosperity and enhanced standards of living.

“India, however, appears to have gone from an agrarian economy to a service economy, bypassing the industrial sector,” Gopalakrishnan noted.

As track record for urbanisation has not been impressive, there is a need for smarter approach and out of box solutions.

“We have a skewed GDP (gross domestic product) mix, with just 17 percent coming from manufacturing, which is lower than developed markets,” Vijaykumar added.

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