India needs more technology start-ups: IIT-Delhi director

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) More technology-based start ups are needed in India to create inventions to help enhance the quality of life of the people, V. Ramgopal Rao, director of the premier IIT-Delhi says.

“One thing which needs to happen in the country is more technology start ups. There are a lot of start up companies in India but many of them are e-commerce based,” Rao told IANS as the institute prepares to host on April 23 its 12th Open House that gives an insight into the massive research work happening on the campus.

“The technology start-ups will actually create inventions. They have the potential to boost agricultural productivity and can add to the wealth of the nation,” he added.

The Open House is set to feature over 20 “high societal impact” projects along with 500 research projects and 80 demo projects.

“Among some of the projects to be showcased at the Open House, the technology can be bought by people and help enhance the quality of life. Technology-based entrepreneurship, product development still hasn’t been taken up in India in a big way,” Rao noted.

Rao said that an ecosystem needs to be created for those who create technology-based products.

“When a person creates such a (technology-based) product, he takes it to the market. One way is to license it to a company which is already in that space, but it may not always be possible¬Ö If a researcher wants to start such a company, the person would want to scale up production facilities which requires investment. For this you will need vice chancellors to support you. This technology incubation is where we (IIT Delhi) are going to put emphasis now.”

The director also said events such as Open House will help connect institutes like IITs with the society.

“I see a lot of hope (through such events). The activities have already begun in that direction. IITs are doing research, publishing papers, but we’re not connecting strongly enough with society. But now it seems that things are beginning to happen,” Rao said.

On the fewer number of women in the field of science and research, Rao said: “I am ashamed over the ratio of female researchers to male researchers at the IIT campuses. There are not even many women in the leadership position in the country right now. This is not a good sign. At IIT Delhi we have actually consciously asked why is that we don’t have dean who are women. We have to address this issue.”

(Archana Rao can be contacted at archana.r@ians.in)

–IANS

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