Need to generate 115 mn non-farm jobs: President

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) Indian economy needs to generate 115 million non-farm jobs over the next decade to employ its workforce, President Pranab Mukherjee has said.

“Encouraging and promoting self-employment as a career option for young people will be of paramount importance,” the President said at the Festival of Innovations being held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, on Saturday, a statement said on Sunday.

The President also said many of the advanced nations have capitalised on their educational network to assume leadership positions in the area of innovation, start-ups and research.

“India, with an educational network of over 700 universities and 35,000 colleges, is optimally placed to capitalise on its intellectual seed capital,” he said.

Highlighting the issue of low levels of investment by Indian firms and businesses in research and Development (R&D), the President said our current investment levels in R&D are a fraction of what world class companies spend.

“The major contributor of R&D expenditure is the government. Without a substantive stepping up of these expenditures, we cannot expect to be at the higher end of the value chain,” he said, calling upon the private sector and institutes of higher learning to devote a larger part of their resources for R&D to enable innovation and job creation across the economy.

This is the second edition of the week-long “Festival of Innovation” at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The festival, from March 12-19, is being organised by the President’s Office in collaboration with the National Innovation Foundation (NIF).

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