Airtel’s Sunil Mittal Has Advice For India Inc: Be Prepared For Global Innovation To Move To India
October 16, 2022: Speaking at the first edition of a research and development forum organized by 23 top-tier IITs, Sunil Mittal, the founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises urged further collaboration between academia and India Inc.
The chairman of India’s second-largest telecommunications company, Sunil Bharti Mittal, said the country was on its way to becoming the world’s innovation hub. After West and East Asian economies such as Japan and China, it was now India’s turn to bring ingenious solutions to the world.
“As everyone knows, India’s biometric-based Aadhaar was praised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) [official] who spoke about how India is digitizing its economy, especially on the services side in a very significant,” Mittal said while delivering the keynote address at the first edition of IInvenTiv-2022, a research and development (R&D) forum organized by 23 major Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in New Delhi on Friday.
Mittal was referring to a remark by the deputy head of the multilateral development bank, Paolo Mauro, who said on Thursday that despite India’s size and reach, he had achieved a remarkable feat with the Aadhaar card.
“In my opinion, that is a remarkable change, as the country is now receiving a huge amount of foreign direct investment and is becoming a nation that thrives on research and innovation,” Mittal commented, adding: “ These are world leaders who are looking at India and feeling amazed at how well we are moving forward.”
Touching on the synergy between academia and industry, Mittal agreed that this is currently a weak area. However, he was optimistic that things would change as the engagement between India Inc. and institutions like the IITs gathered momentum.
In that sense, he especially praised the New Educational Policy (NEP).
“Things are changing. The NEP has brought some of the first signs of how this can play out through a flexible curriculum where students can go and work in an industry and yet not be deprived of their credits.” academics,” he said.
Responding to data on American universities like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Standford, which spend between $800 million and $1 billion on research annually, he said Indian institutes could rival them by creating strong synergies with the industry.
“I do not doubt that with industry engaging in a big way with our higher education institutes like IITs, we can achieve that number as well. We spend a lot of money on silos. And I’m not just talking about digital, I’m talking about the entire spectrum of the industry!” Mittal reported.
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