In 2014, nobody would have guessed that India could have a startup with a private rocket system: Meenakshi Lekhi

Minister of Culture for the State of India reaffirms India's success story, citing achievements like record Covid vaccination drive, the startup ecosystem, and innovation

Meenakshi Lekhi, the Minister of Culture for the State of India, discussed how innovation may alter the economic landscape of our nation and how we need to embrace a culture of innovation for it to happen.

She spoke of the years 2019–2021, when the globe was still reeling from the consequences of the COVID pandemic but when we were unable to interact with one another. The retail industry was written off as a lost cause due to the uncertainty surrounding the future of transportation and communication. Yet, India did commute and interact, despite the fact that country and its economy had already been declared dead. Many worried how a country such as India could vaccinate its citizens, and in those days, certain labels arose as a result of political strategies.

“But India defied the odds and contributed 2.2 billion doses of vaccine, allowing us to vaccinate everyone in the country. This achievement has earned India the awe and respect that it so richly deserves. We has done well, and have shown the world that this strong country will face every challenge head-on. We have shown this not only through our economy, but also through the confidence of our young people, the hard work they are capable of, and their ability to take on all challenges and turn them into opportunities,” stated Lekhi.

She mentioned how, during the COVID period, India innovated and worked in innovative ways to develop a whole startup ecosystem. And as of now, India has the third largest startup ecosystem, with 80,000 startups and 3,000 deep science startups. In 2014, nobody would have guessed that India could have a startup with a private rocket system. Hence, it is for all to see that India has accomplished this feat and that we are quite adept at it. She also emphasised how Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the same vaccine as the average person, demonstrating a spirit of inclusivity in our culture.

“All I can say is the startup ecosystem, whether it is finances or the three methods which the government has adopted, is to make credit available where it is needed by the startup ecosystem, hand hold the young people, and keep the government out of the business. Business needs to be done by the people, and the government simply needs to provide an ecosystem where businesses can flourish. This includes keeping 10,000 crores for infrastructure development and providing the public with the right number of resources,” said the minister.

Today, whether it’s patents, trademarks, or copyrights, everything has multiplied. Lekhi said that ‘Pratyaksha, Kim Pramanam’ demonstrates that India and Indian innovation are all about fostering the ideal environment.

She also said, “I’m sure our potential is far greater, and we are yet to achieve our goals. We must continue to work and promise each other that together, collectively, we stand for one India, a great India, and we shall put in all our best efforts to make it greater’. There is a saying, “Pratyaksha Kim Pramanam,” which means we need no proof for things that are self-evident.”

Meenakshi Lekhi shared these insights in a session “DisruptX: Challenging the Status Quo” at the Global Business Summit 2023.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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