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Use emerging technologies, social media, for development: Sam Pitroda
Friday July 19, 2013 12:26 PM, IANS

Entrepreneurs and experts stressed leveraging emerging technologies, including social media, to solve the challenges of development and disparity as they discussed partnership opportunities between India and the US.

"Diversity has always been the backbone of innovation in India. In solving the challenges of development, demography, and disparity, will need expansion, excellence and equity," said. Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister on public information infrastructure and innovation Thursday

"Today, as a nation of a connected billion, a first in the history of the world, we need to leverage emerging technologies, including social media, to help alleviate the enormous problem of poverty," he said in his keynote address at the India Innovation Summit organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

The Summit, organized in partnership with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA), the US-India Business Council (USIBC), PanIIT Alumni Association and TiE Midwest, brought together creative minds, experts and entrepreneurs, financing institutions and economic development officials, according to CII.

Discussions encompassed key policy interventions, funding mechanisms, and partnership opportunities between India and the US in the innovation space.

Madhav Lal, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) emphasised leveraging collaborations to scale up innovations, and the growing role of technologies to enable this cross-sector engagement.

CII President S Gopalakrishnan, who was leading a CII CEOs delegation to the summit, called for empowering a large number of people using mobile connectivity and cloud computing platforms and making them a part of the knowledge revolution, which would ultimately contribute to economic growth.

"Innovation generates economic value, new jobs and a culture of entrepreneurship. By virtue of its relationship with competitiveness, innovation emerges as a factor in promoting economic growth," he said.

Stressing the need to enhance Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Vikram Kirloskar, Chairman, CII Innovation Council and Vice Chairman, Toyota-Kirloskar Motor said, "Mutual trust will lead to mutual benefit. The public and private sector cannot be working in isolation."

On enabling innovation in education, Naushad Forbes, Chairman, CII National Committee on Higher Education and Director, Forbes Marshall highlighted two major areas of engagement: to build capacity in the administrative leadership in higher education institutions and connecting Indian companies with leading US universities.

"As Indian companies invest more in Research and Development, there is a heightened need to connect them to leading research institutions and universities," he said.

CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said US-India collaboration presents a huge opportunity.

"A lot remains to be done in India on the innovation front, and we believe that the power of collaboration between India and the US - two countries with a diverse, democratic and creative people - would yield tremendous results," he said.

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