Mumbai: Infrastructure and the right kind of eco-system for innovation would enable institutions to share information for inclusive growth and development, said National Innovation Council (NIC) Chairman Sam Pitroda on Thursday.

"India needs public information infrastructure, roads to connect universities and a digital knowledge network that enables institutions to share information for inclusive growth and development," Pitroda said, while addressing a gathering of investors and social entrepreneurs at Sankalp, 2011 seminar.

There is also a need to create the right kind of ecosystem with risk capital, appreciation for innovation of a dedicated network of people and institutions, digital connectivity, affordability and durability, he said.

India is a country of several million cell-phones, USD 70 billion worth of IT exports and yet the connectivity is poor, he said.

"Small young entrepreneurs from rural areas need local solutions, local talent, connectivity and resources in local languages. So while there is a great deal of innovation here, one is unable to scale these innovations due to lack of public information infrastructure," Pitroda said.

The government has approved creation of a digital knowledge network and earmarked USD 2 billion for the same, he said.

"The digital knowledge network, along with UID, procurement systems, payment systems and security and portals, will involve an outlay of nearly USD 15-20 billion in the next
five years, as a public-private partnership. This alone can really bring the 300 million people below the poverty line into mainstream," Pitroda said.

Agencies