Knowledge, innovation key to India’s growth: Mukherjee

Constructive use of India’s 1.1 billion minds could free its society from all woes it was currently facing, President Pranab Mukherjee said here on Monday.

“It is for each one of us as an individual to make a commitment and to dedicate oneself to solving the problems of society and country,” said the president, after presenting the annual A.P.J. Abdul Kalam IGNITE Awards at IIM-Ahmedabad.

On a three-day tour of Gujarat, Mukherjee urged the new generation to engage with creative minds from industry, business, entrepreneurs, society leaders and with those who work at the grassroots.

Mukherjee said it was imperative to address the pressing issues confronting today’s society and the IIM “must strive to be a beacon of knowledge, nurture other institutions with generous mentorship, and maintain a culture that blends the drive for excellence and performance with the spirit of collaboration and compassion”.

He said that together, the National Innovation Foundation and IIM-Ahmedabad, had given a global identity to the Indian model of social innovation.

Mukherjee encouraged the institute to continue investing energy and resources in nurturing innovations that accelerate the nation’s economic progress and create a sustainable inclusive society.

“Innovation is a key to economic development and reflects the maturity of a nation and society to respond to the emerging needs and challenges. It is a continuous process and needs to be nurtured at each and every step.

“Innovation, higher education and industry need to be closely networked for maximum benefit of the society. Any innovation happening either at the grassroots level or in the higher educational institutions must be linked to the industry for commercial purposes,” the president said.

He said the children of India have proved that innovative spirits can dispel any amount of inertia and replace it with exciting new possibilities.