Vice President seeks private sector corpus fund for academic research projects

A J Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on November 02, 2019

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu   -  Nagara Gopal@thehindu

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has urged the private sector to create a corpus fund under the CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities to fund academic research projects that have societal benefits.

Delivering the 17th convocation address of National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK) at Surathkal in Mangaluru taluk on Saturday, he said though the private sector makes investments in innovations for commercial benefits, there is a greater scope for private sector investments to promote R&D (research and development) in universities and academic institutions.

“I urge the private sector to create a corpus fund under CSR activities to fund research projects that have societal benefits,” he said.

Urging the academic sector to create the right ecosystem for innovation and creativity to thrive, he said innovation, inventions, and discoveries must be the buzzword on the campuses of NITs (national institutes of technology), IITs (Indian institutes of technology) and universities.

The ability to innovate, use discoveries and inventions to create new markets and new products has been recognised as the key to success in the new millennium. Innovations and inventions must lead to development of products and processes that can be directly applied for commercial, social and military benefits, he said, adding that the culture of innovation should be supported and sustained through investments.

Advantage of demographic dividend

Referring to the advantage of demographic dividend that India has, he said education alone will not be sufficient to reap the demographic dividend. It is necessary that the country boosts the employability of the graduates through intensive skill development programmes, especially in cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and Robotics etc.

Single-skill and single-discipline jobs are likely to become automated over time. In such a situation, there will be a need to focus on multidisciplinary competencies for future work roles. He said that these are the capabilities that will separate the developed countries from underdeveloped countries in future.

Naidu asked the NITs, universities and higher education institutions in the country to come up with a vision document to achieve highest academic standards, including high quality research, in the next five to 10 years. Every institution must give up on ‘business-as-usual’ approach, change the status quo and strive to be among the global top rankers, he said.

“I strongly believe that in the years to come India will earn its place amongst the technology giants of the world through education and innovation. Indeed, education will be the key factor in transforming India into an economic superpower,” he added.

Published on November 02, 2019

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