He called for result-oriented research to address challenges like climate change, pollution, health and poverty

There is a need to create an enabling ecosystem for R&D for India to become a developed nation, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said.

It is the cutting-edge research in science, technology and other fields that puts developed countries ahead of the rest, he said on Monday.

He was speaking after inaugurating the Puducherry Technological University, in Puducherry. It is the first state university of the Union Territory of Puducherry which has been constituted by upgrading the Pondicherry Engineering College established in 1986.

Vice President Naidu urged educational institutions to have an increased interface with the industry to promote result-oriented research that addresses contemporary challenges such as climate change, pollution, health and poverty.

Pointing out that India was scaling new heights in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovatiom, he expressed happiness over India becoming the world’s third largest start-up ecosystem.

With the opening of the space sector for private players, several promising start-ups have come up in this sector, VP Naidu said.

He asked the industry to come forward and support young entrepreneurs by handholding, providing funds and incubating their ventures.

“Improved Industry-Academia Partnership has to be stepped up to give a further fillip in this direction”, he added.

The Vice President noted that leadership teams of 45% start-ups have a woman entrepreneur. He hoped that this healthy trend will inspire more women to become entrepreneurs.

Emphasizing the need to provide equal opportunities for women, he called for ending artificial barriers created in the name of caste, religion and gender.

“You must prepare a generation to see that all kinds of social discriminations are put to an end,” he said to the university authorities.

He also urged the educational institutions to infuse a spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship and experimentation among the students so that they are able to drive the nation forward.

During his address, the Vice President praised the Indian start-ups for coming up with life-saving innovations amid the COVID-19 pandemic such as testing kits and cheap ventilators as well as innovations in supply chain management and logistics.