West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday urged investors to consider the eastern state for investment claiming that peace has been restored in troubled regions, as she lit the ceremonial lamp to inaugurate the three-day PanIIT Alumni Global Conference 2012 here in Kolkata on Friday.
Speaking at the event, Banerjee addressed the IITians as gold, saying: "You (IITians) are the gold mines of the world."
"It is a great honour that you have selected Kolkata for the conference," she said.
Addressing the younger generation of the country, Banerjee said: "They are the tomorrow of the country and the world."
While pitching West Bengal for the potential investors, the chief minister also took a dig at the previous Left Front government for the current financial condition of the state.
She said: "We are facing the legacy of one party rule....Our financial position is minus minus, as there are no funds available. Whatever we are earning we have to pay debts. No money is available for food, education and health."
She, however, claimed that ´all problems in the state´ that were festering earlier has been solved.
"Darjeeling is smiling and the problems are solved. In Jangalmahal [the Maoist affected districts in south Bengal] all the problems have been settled," Banerjee said, adding that West Bengal is now the right place for investment.
One of the co-founders of Infosys, Nandan Neilkani, who is presently the Chairman of the new Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), also spoke at the PanIIT conference in Kolkata.
Speaking on the government´s ambitious AADHAAR scheme, a unique identification project. he said: "It is the world´s largest social inclusion process."
"The other important thing is we used the the technology of biometrics," he said.
"The purpose of biometrics is two-fold. First to get uniqueness of any individual and then to verify your identity online," he said.
Top global leaders from different sectors shared their views as they addressed at the conference on Friday on the inaugural day.
US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell, who is one of the speakers, said: "Both India and the US recognise the importance of exchange of ideas and that is why we organize higher educational dialogues."
She said: "India and the US have much to do to collaborate in future in the field of science and technology."
ITC chairman YC Deveshwar said the country should focus on Research and Development (R&D) ´for creating intellectual activities´.
He said: " Indian business must multiply entrepreneurship."
He said in order to create employment "we need to change the rule of capitalism and migrate to a new model of serving society."
Earlier speaking at the conference, West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan said food security and employment generation are matters of concern for India.
"Food security is a crucial issue..Employment generation is a matter of concern. Several steps have been taken to overcome the hurdle. However, we need perhaps to step up the pace. We need to give greater impetus to technological and other innovation to give our economy the necessary boost," Narayanan said.
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said the country will need more leaders in different sectors in the society, including science and technology.
"India needs leaders in the field of science, technology, engineering and even in politics..Need educated people to take responsibilities," Singh said.
He said more institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) are needed to provide opportunity to the younger generations.
The PanIIT Alumni Global conference 2012 started in Kolkata on Friday and will continue till Dec 9.
The PanIIT Alumni Association was formed in 2002 to gather all graduating IITians from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) since 1955 under one umbrella and engage them in initiatives of common interest.
Speaking on IIT, Narayanan said: "The acronym IIT is among the best recognized acronyms in the world."
Pertinently, the conference is alternately held in India and the US.
The PanIIT Global Conference was held in New York last year.