"I believe the underlying growth impetus remains strong due to continued rise in per capita incomes, expanding middle-class consumers and a young and energetic workforce. Of course, stronger efforts from all stakeholders can build on this trend, and enable us secure faster growth," he said.
    
Inaugurating the first Engineers Conclave, 2013, Mukherjee said that it is happening at a time when the world is beginning to emerge from the global economic crisis.
    
"Though India's economic growth has declined in recent times, I am confident we will be able to bring the deceleration to a halt and revert to the high growth levels that we attained in the past," he said.
    
In terms of purchasing power parity, Indian economy is the third largest in the world and its growth rate over the last few years is second only to China, he said, adding that Indian economy has been more resilient than most of the other emerging economies.
    
The President said the innovation capability of Indian scientists and engineers would play a critical role in enabling India to become a leading nation in the 21st century.
    
"People should be at the heart of the engineering effort, reaching out to human resources, consumers and vendors," he said.
    
Mukherjee noted that achievements of Indian engineers have not adequately percolated down to the grassroots and the potential to impact the common man's life is yet to be fully exploited.
    
"One innovation that made a difference about three decades back was replacement of wooden wheel by rubber tyres in bullock carts. Our country needs hundreds of such innovations that are simple and sustainable in a rural context," he said.

(Agencies)

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