IIT Madras is organized a two-day ‘IIT Madras – Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Technology Conclave’ and Exhibition to work towards ‘Vision New India 2022 – Development through Technology for All.’ The Conclave began at IIT Madras Research Park on 15th September 2019. The event brought forth thought-leadership for intensifying collaboration between IIT Madras and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) in research and Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
The key objective was to explore future collaborative engagements in technology development, capacity building for the benefit of society. Several Maharatna, Navaratna and Miniratna PSUs participated in the conclave. The exhibition showcased CSR activities of PSUs, IIT Madras Centers of Excellence and start-ups in the social space and highlighted their translation of technology from laboratory to the real world. There were also exhibits wherein PSUs and IIT Madras displayed the social impact they have been able to achieve through various interventions.
Delivering the keynote address during the inauguration held today, Shri. Arjun Ram Meghwal, Hon’ble Minister of State (Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises), Government of India, said, “The Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has called for banning Single-Use Plastic. IIT Madras has to invent alternates, which if available, people can use easily in their daily life. Everybody should take oath that at least for one day in a week, you will not use Single-Use Plastic. India is one of the signatories of the Paris Agreement. We have to protect the environment, reduce the carbon emission and we have to take suo motu action in this direction.”
“The Governments of Sikkim and Madhya Pradesh have created Happiness Ministries. How we can increase happiness in society? We have to collaborate and use the technology of IIT Madras, which has invented many things that I saw in the exhibition being held as part of this event,” added Shri. Arjun Ram Meghwal.
The ONGC Stall at this Exhibition in this Conclave here demonstrated the work being under CSR for which Rs. 600 crore the PSU spent this year.
Addressing the Conclave, Dr. Madhukar Gupta, Additional Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), Government of India, said, “In terms of CSR spending, PSUs contribute nearly 30 per cent of the total CSR spending in the country. All companies put together spend around Rs. 15,000 crore annually in CSR funding in India, which comes without many riders or constraints as long as it falls within Schedule 7 of Companies Act. As the profits of companies go up, the spending on CSR will also go up. The biggest businessmen in the world, such as Mr. Bill Gates, are moving away from business towards philanthropy.”
Further, Dr. Madhukar Gupta said, “For the first time in 70 years, Indian corporate have the mandate to contribute directly to nation building. Corporate India can be more innovative, leveraging technology, be more creative and ingenious in finding solutions to problems.”
Delivering the welcome address, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “This Conclave is an attempt to see how we can creatively use CSR, a fairly new phenomenon in the country, as a force multiplier to increase the impact of the entire gamut of activities taken up under CSR. One of the things we have been experimenting with at IIT Madras is that some resources spent in a precise manner on R&D in areas where such research is not done so much but if when completed can make a huge impact in the field. Examples in IIT Madras include work on medical technology especially in Assistive technologies, treatment of water and sanitation.”
A Panel Discussion on ‘Technology for society – Setting the Context of CSR and Technology: Role of CSR in technology development and deployment’ was also organized on the occasion with the panelists being Chairman and Managing Directors of CPSEs and IIT Madras faculty members. The panel discussions debated how capacities can be created in the educational institutions for achieving ‘Vision New India 2022 – Development through Technology for All.’
The PSUs have been driving the country’s economy for many decades. They are also active in creating social impact in society through CSR activities. IIT Madras has established a track record in translating technology to the benefit of society. This conclave provides a platform for these stakeholders for come together for a greater India. More such programs are being planned by IIT Madras in the future.