Pitroda, also the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation, was delivering his keynote address at the India Innovation Summit organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Chicago on Thursday.

"Diversity has always been the backbone of innovation in India. Solving the challenges of development, demography and disparity, will need expansion, excellence and equity," Pitroda said.

"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," Pitroda said.

The summit was organized in partnership with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA), the US-India Business Council (USIBC), PanIIT Alumni Association and TiE Midwest. Madhav Lal, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) emphasized leveraging collaborations to scale up innovations and on the growing role of technologies to enable this cross-sector engagement.

"I would like to see more collaborative networks between the governments, industry, academia and institutions, cutting across country borders," he said. CII president S Gopalakrishnan said the need of the hour is to empower a large number of people using mobile connectivity and cloud computing platforms and make them a part of the knowledge revolution, which will 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.

Vikram Kirloskar, chairman, CII Innovation Council and Vice Chairman, Toyota-Kirloskar Motor, noted that the public and private sectors cannot be working in isolation. He elaborated on the recent formation of the Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA), which manifested as PPP-model based, non-profit company jointly incorporated by the Technology Development Board (TDB) of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), and CII.

"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.


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