Global Sankalp Summit 2015 & Social Innovation Expo
Global Sankalp Summit 2015 & Social Innovation Expo
Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, has urged FICCI to start a bank of ideas and innovation on the lines of the Bank of Ideas and Innovations, launched by the Government of India last year, to bring together, evaluate and promote innovations to improve the quality of life of the rural poor.
Gadkari was speaking at the 'Global Sankalp Summit 2015' and 'Social Innovation Expo' organised by FICCI in association with Intellecap and partners in New Delhi on April 9, 2015. The prime focus of the summit this year was on engaging with the government to discuss its role vis-a-vis that of corporates and small businesses as partners through Public Private Partnerships, as financiers of business and innovation and as policy drivers to promote inclusion.
He said that India was a rich home to innovations and the National Innovation Fund in Ahmedabad with its 20000 innovations from rural India speaks volume about it. However, the need was to bring awareness about these innovations so that they could be scaled up and benefit rural India.
He said that the root of all issues in India was poverty and social inclusion was its solution. The need was for social
consciousness. Citing the example of agriculture, Gadkari said that India had the capability to produce high quality valuable organic crops and food for the export market. The need was to have access to right technology and innovations to convert this knowledge into wealth, which in turn would lead to employment and eradication of poverty.
In his special address, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science, Technology & Earth Sciences, said that under the leadership of the Prime Minister, inclusive development, skill upgradation, promotion of social entrepreneurs and encouragement to innovators had come into sharp focus. The government just like 'Sankalp' was aiming to reach out to the downtrodden and deprived people who did not get a fair share in the country's development. Efforts were now being made to ensure that scientific innovations were able to provide solution to their issues by providing them with employment.
Highlighting some of the initiatives of the ministry that have helped in inclusive growth, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the National Innovation Fund in Ahmedabad has emerged as a goldmine of innovative ideas, which provides institutional support to grassroots innovators and outstanding traditional knowledge holders from the unorganised sector of the society. Similarly, the Technology Development Board was providing soft financing to Indian companies enabling commercialisation of their innovations and PRISM (Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Start-ups and MSMEs) scheme aims to support individual innovators to achieve the agenda of inclusive development.
To depict the long association between India and the US, Richard R. Verma, US Ambassador to India, played a video, which clearly emphasised the two nations' commitment towards social inclusion and promotion of innovation. He said that the relation between India and the US have evolved from strategic to one of innovation and knowledge sharing and now was the time for partnerships to be forged not just between governments but between governments and social innovators who could provide solutions to issues such as healthcare and food security.
Verma said that the US government was keen to partner with India in its 'Clean India'
“It was necessary to test innovations locally then scale them up and adapt them according to the local needs to resolve issues of unemployment and poverty”.
initiative. It was necessary to test innovations locally then scale them up and adapt them according to the local needs to resolve issues of unemployment and poverty.
Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President & Spiritual Head, Parmarth Niketan Ashram, said that there was a great need to innovate in science and technology to uplift the poor and downtrodden. However, he added that besides building infrastructure and creating wealth, it was necessary to internally structure ourselves for attaining true prosperity. In the process of learning and earning, Swami Chidanand said that one must also think of investing in self-development and giving back to the society for a holistic development.
Vineet Rai, Chairman, Intellecap, said that Sankalp Forum's focus over the years has been its work with impact investors and social businesses. Innovation inspires disruption in the natural evolution and hence was a critical component in making the world more equitable. Having acknowledged the power of innovations in making countries and societies inclusive, it was time to explore the interplay of innovation with capital, social business and corporates in defining the future for a more inclusive world. Rai added that at the summit stakeholders could collectively ponder over who will finance the ecosystem around innovation and discuss what could truly inspire scaling up of innovation.
Dr. Jyotsna Suri, President, FICCI, said that the forum would give an opportunity to examine the problems of Indians at the bottom of the pyramid and identify innovative solutions to resolve those issues. She added that India was the home to frugal, distributive and affordable innovation and it was time to scale up these innovations. Referring to the expo, Dr. Suri said that over 100 innovative solutions were on display which proves that India has the capability and the country just needed a conducive ecosystem to promote social entrepreneurs.
In his concluding remarks Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, said that industry will stand by the initiative and ensure that social innovation becomes the order of the day.
L to R: Vineet Rai, Chairman, Intellecap; Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science, Technology & Earth Sciences; Dr. Jyotsna Suri, President, FICCI; Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways; Richard R. Verma, US Ambassador to India and Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President & Spiritual Head, Parmarth Niketan Ashram.