Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Friday 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 while addressing the PanIIT Alumni Global Conference that began here at the Science City auditorium on Friday.
He said more institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) were required to provide opportunity to the younger generations.
"One of the major challenges is that besides the quantitative increase in the number of institutions it should foster qualitative improvement in working of institutions at higher level," Singh said.
Speaking on challenges, he said: "India currently lacks behind many countries as far as research is concerned...We need to work hard to bridge the knowledge gap."
"As a developing country we need to catch up with others," Singh said.
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.
Pertinently, the conference is alternately held in India and the US.
The PanIIT Global Conference was held in New York last year.