The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has called upon Planners, Parliamentarians and Press to have a pronounced rural bias and a reservation mentality in allocation of funds for villages to bridge the urban-rural divide and ensure an integrated development of the country. The Banks must also give priority to rural innovations, he said.He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the Rural Innovators Startup Conclave at National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, in Hyderabad today. The Governor of Telangana, Shri E.S.L. Narasimhan, the Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana, Shri Mohammad Mahmood Ali, the Minister of State for Rural Development, Shri Ram Kripal Yadav and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.The Vice President expressed anguish that the country had not followed the call of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi to “go back to villages”. Although, successive governments had focused on rural development, adequate attention was not paid and this led to “two Indias”, he added. The Vice President pointed out that there was massive migration from villages to cities due to 5 Es - Education, Employment, Entertainment, Enhanced medical facilities and Economic opportunities. At the earliest, we need to bridge the urban-rural divide by providing all the amenities and facilities in villages on par with urban areas, he added.Calling for transforming rural economy with particular emphasis on five Is - Irrigation, infrastructure, reduced interest rates, insurance and innovation, the Vice President said ‘If you have electricity, roads, hospitals medical institutions and connectivity it will bring integration’.
The Vice President said that Technology and innovation can change the economy of rural India and added that this is the best time to demonstrate our rural capabilities and showcase innovative technologies and products that can transform rural life.The Vice President also said that self help groups should be involved in the development as it not only brings down the income gap but also encourages Women Empowerment. He has also said that the focus of providing electricity should shift from villages to every house.Emphasizing the need to remove bottlenecks with regard to infrastructure, funds, connectivity and certification mechanism to encourage rural innovators, the Vice President appreciated NIRDPR for acting as a bridge between rural youth and various institutions and helping the innovators to transform their innovations into technology start-ups. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, National Skill Development Mission and schemes like Deen Daya Upadhyay Grameen Kaushal Yojana are extending support to the rural innovators, there is a huge scope to create the right ecosystem for rural innovators to flourish, he added.Saying that employment generation is crucial for overall growth of our economy and government alone or only the large industries cannot create all the employmen, the Vice President asked Micro & Small Enterprises to embrace the start-up eco system and use technology to increase their reach and efficiency so that they can play a leading role in employment generation.
The Vice President said that innovation-led economic development is mostly limited to software or IT in spite of the efforts by the government agencies and host of institutions. Of late, start-ups are extensively being spoken about and have received a boost with the MAKE IN INDIA INITIATIVE, he added.The Vice President said that in a bid to give fillip to incubation and R&D efforts in the country, the Government is also setting up the centres of innovation and entrepreneurship at national institutes as also new research parks at various IITs. He further said that building world class incubators is the need of the hour. Besides the initiatives taken by the Government, the private sector must come forward in a big way to promote innovative rural technologies and transform the rural economy, he added.The Vice President said that India, with its youth potential must strive to become a make India a technology power house and emphasized the need to create innovation labs with the focus on ‘Design for Tomorrow’s India’.Later the Vice President inaugurated an exhibition put up by rural innovators, went around the stalls and interacted with the young entrepreneurs and innovators. Around 150 startup innovators along with experts, professionals and others were attending the two-day conclave.