Noting that India is dependent on imports in several sectors including defence and health, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked the IITs to take up the challenge of developing products in these critical fields.
He also asked these premier institutes to contribute towards user-friendly innovations in Indian Railways and fulfilling the vision for "housing for all" through technology that would enable rapid construction of economical, eco-friendly and structurally sound houses.
Addressing a conference of Chairmen of Boards of Governors and directors of IITs here, he asked the IITs to instill among bright young minds at various IITs a sense of "service" towards the nation.
Citing examples of a range of defence and health sector equipment and sensitive and security-related items like currency ink and tear gas which are imported, he said "I refuse to believe that India does not have the talent to make these things."
Wanting the IITs to take up such challenges, Modi asked them to come out with projects that can provide innovative solutions to the common people in their day-to-day lives.
At the function presided over by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan, Modi calling upon IITs to bring about a "positive change" in the quality of life of the people in the country.
"Science is universal. Technology must be local," he said, while describing IITians as a "great force".
He also asked IITs to adopt nearby engineering colleges to play a "mentoring" role and search for innovations developed by people.
Modi said IITs must encourage their alumni to interact with students so that their experience can be leveraged and sought their systemic mapping and grouping for optimum utilisation of their experience.
With ranking of the institutes being one of the agendas at the conference, Modi opined that while global rankings are important, "we should also set up our own parameters for rankings, which will serve as an in-built mechanism for change and improvement".