Praful Patel, Sam Pitroda speak at Kellogg Business School

Praful Patel, Sam Pitroda speak at Kellogg Business School

The conference held at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University focused on the theme, "Building Bridges, Creating Connections".

Patel visited the university after attending the World Economic Forum at Davos, where unemployment, rising commodity prices and global economic risks were the main topics of discussion.

"India is a country being very much mentioned and watched," Patel told PTI.
"People have great expectations and are looking at recovering the world economy. Countries like India and China will be instrumental in bringing growth in the world," Patel added.

Patel, who was Union Minister of Aviation till recently, is now in charge of the heavy industries and public enterprises portfolio.

Credited for opening up the aviation sector, the minister was, however, unable to turn around state-owned Air India.

Describing the Davos meeting as interesting, Patel also said the Indian aviation industry is set to grow in the next few years and India will have 400 airports in the next decade.
Another keynote speaker at the event was India's telecom guru and advisor to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sam Pitroda.

"India will continue to grow at 8-10 per cent in the next few years," Pitroda said.
"We set up the National Knowledge Commission seven years ago," Pitroda said.
He said he was working on knowledge concepts in the primary, secondary and the higher education sector.

Pitroda said a National Innovation Council has also been set up, which aims to conceptualise innovative measures to improve government, health, infrastructure and economic systems.

The entrepreneur said President Barack Obama's recent visit to India in November opened more opportunities for India and he had given Obama a rundown on India's public information infrastructure.

"The US and India will work on an open government and information technology. Transparency is key in transforming government, not only in India and the United States, but also in other countries," Pitroda said.

Pitroda said India needs to look at how to put technology into use for long-term benefits in the agriculture, law and mobile telephony sectors, among others.

"We need to see how we can benefit from technology," he added.
Speaking on innovation, Pitroda said that just like the telecom industry took 20 years to get transformed, it would take 20 years for the information technology industry to turn around.

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