Addressing a galaxy of Jains, including leaders of business and industry on the second day of the two-day international conference on 'Sharing Vision for Growth, Knowledge and Human Enrichment', organised by JITO here, Mr Modi said JITO should use Gujarat as the laboratory (prayog bhumi) for economic and social causes.
Inviting the Jains to Gujarat, he said they were free to go to other states for the purpose, but expressed confidence that they would come back to Gujarat, seeing the situation in the other states.
He assured the businessmen that his state was the safe place to do business and his administration would provide security to them.
Mr Modi described the Mahajans (Jains) as a great and successful institution and said that JITO was reviving the same old system with the objective of socio-economic progress.
Speaking to a packed audience, he said he did not come to the conference as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, but as a volunteer in the service of society.
Lauding the services of JITO to society, he said it was successful in doing so and added that while the society was imitating the western world, knowingly or unknowingly, JITO, under the guidance of Maharajsaheb (Jain religious leader), was giving directions to the society.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde stressed on the need to invest in education. He said power (as in ruling) was not important, but willingness to work for the society, the way JITO has been doing.
The Minister said the power sector was moving ahead and by 2009, 1,34,000 villages would be given power.
Mr Shinde said there was a need to go for hydro-electric power, adding that the UPA government had approved such power generation in the Himalayan region.
He appealed for investments in the power sector and promised that by 2012, the country would be able to provide power on demand.
Anand Sudarshan of Manipal University, in his address on India-The International Education Hub, said the Manipal Universtiy has students from 53 countries. He said he wanted 50 such Manipals to come up in the country.
According to Mr Sudarshan, there was a need to create an education system in India that would attract the Indian diaspora.
Advocating a case for privatisation of the education system, he said when the education system was not controlled by the government during the British rule, there was 100 per cent literacy, but the situation had changed since the Indian government took charge of the education system.