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India will become the world leader in AI, says PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that he was convinced that India will become the world leader in AI with its young innovators emerging as a driving force to take the nation ahead.

Addressing the Startup Mahakhumb at the Bharat Mandapam here, the Prime Minister said, “India will have the upper hand in AI and we will not let the opportunity go.”

He exhorted the young startup founders to find solutions that will not only help India solve its problems and achieve the goal of Viksit Bharat but also create a better future for the world.

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PM Modi said tried and trusted innovations that were successful in India with its diverse geography would work anywhere in the world.

He said that India had now become the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, and the government had for the first time introduced the chapter of Startups as an Engine of Growth in the G-20 agenda this year bringing the country’s innovative talent on the world map.

PM Modi pointed out that India’s startup ecosystem had come a long way since he first launched the Startup India and Stand up India movements at a small gathering in Vigyan Bhavan attended by a few experts.

“Today the ecosystem has grown with over 1.25 lakh registered startups in the country and with which over 12 lakh youngsters are linked. The startups are providing employment on a large scale and the young founders have turned out to be job creators instead of mere job seekers as was the case earlier in the country,” he added.

He pointed out that over 45 per cent of the startup founders were women and this showed how the daughters of the country were playing an important role in nation building after the technological empowerment.

PM Modi said that the government’s policies of providing funds and incubators at leading educational institutions, such as IITs, to nurture startups have borne fruit and the huge numbers of the startup ecosystem are a reflection of this success story.

He also assured the young talent that the government would invest thousands of crores in the National Research Foundation to promote innovation.

PM Modi pointed out that that in the interim budget presented ahead of the polls, as much as Rs 1 lakh crore has been allocated for Research and Innovation and the funds would be made available to support long term projects.

He also assured the young tech entrepreneurs that the government was taking all necessary steps such as digital protection to promote startups.

He said that startups had a key role to play in making India the world’s third largest economy, which he had guaranteed would take place during his third term as the PM.

The Prime Minister exhorted the young tech entrepreneurs must help others, by way of intelligent advice, to take the entire system ahead.

“Just as someone held your hand to help you succeed, you must also hold the hand of some aspiring youngsters to help them succeed,” PM Modi remarked.

He also advised them to visit schools and colleges to inspire young minds with ideas so that “we develop a culture of innovation in the country”.

PM Modi pointed out that India had succeeded in “democratising technology” as the startup system had spread to small towns across the country and did not distinguish between haves and have nots.

Before his speech, PM Modi took a round of the pavilion and interacted with the young entrepreneurs to get a first-hand feel of their products.

The Starup Mahakhumb organised by the Commerce and Industry Ministry is India’s largest startup event and saw “unprecedented participation,” serving as a dynamic platform for all stakeholders in the country’s startup ecosystem, according to an official statement.

The event, aimed at nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship nationwide, attracted over 2000 startups, 1000+ investors, 100+ unicorns, 300+ incubators & accelerators, 3,000+ conference delegates, 10+ country delegations, and 50,000+ business visitors. It offered a vibrant atmosphere for collaboration and networking, the ministry’s statement added.

The event featured 10 thematic pavilions, showcasing the breadth and depth of innovation in areas such as Deeptech, AI & SaaS, Fintech, Agritech, Biotech & Pharma, Climate Tech, Gaming & E-Sports, D2C, B2B & Manufacturing, and Incubators.

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