President Mukherjee calls for putting entrepreneurship at forefront of economic agenda

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New Delhi, Mar. 13 (ANI): Asserting that the Indian economy needs to generate 115 million non-farm jobs over the next decade, President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday asserted that encouraging and promoting self-employment as a career option for young people will be of paramount importance.

The first day of the festival of innovation in Rashtrapati Bhavan concluded with a summary of the discussions in the global roundtable on inclusive innovations being presented to the President.

Speaking on the occasion, the President “We need to focus on “inclusive innovation” projects which are initiatives that directly serve the welfare of lower-income and excluded groups. India will have to encourage creation of new SMEs focused on manufacturing, while spurring grassroots innovation and growth. Putting entrepreneurship at the forefront of the economic agenda is, thus, the need of the hour.”

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The President said many of the advanced nations have capitalized 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 capitalize on its intellectual seed capital.

In the conference of vice chancellors of central universities in 2013, he had called upon them to consider setting up innovation clubs that would act as a platform for exchange of ideas between the students and faculty, and grassroots innovators.

Highlighting the issue of low levels of investment by Indian firms and businesses in 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.

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He called 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. (ANI)

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