Praful Patel, Sam Pitroda speak at Kellogg Business School

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Himani Kumar

Chicago, Jan 30 (PTI) India will be instrumental inbringing growth to the world, Union Minister for HeavyIndustries and Public Enterprises Praful Patel said during aspeech at the 17th India Business Conference at the KelloggSchool of Management here yesterday.

The conference held at Kellogg School of Management atNorthwestern University focused on the theme, "BuildingBridges, Creating Connections".

Patel visited the university after attending the WorldEconomic Forum at Davos, where unemployment, rising commodityprices and global economic risks were the main topics ofdiscussion.

"India is a country being very much mentioned andwatched," Patel told PTI.

"People have great expectations and are looking atrecovering the world economy. Countries like India and Chinawill be instrumental in bringing growth in the world," Pateladded.

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

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

Describing the Davos meeting as interesting, Patel alsosaid the Indian aviation industry is set to grow in the nextfew years and India will have 400 airports in the next decade.

Another keynote speaker at the event was India''s telecomguru and advisor to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, SamPitroda.

"India will continue to grow at 8-10 per cent in the nextfew years," Pitroda said.

"We set up the National Knowledge Commission seven yearsago," Pitroda said.

He said he was working on knowledge concepts in theprimary, secondary and the higher education sector.

Pitroda said a National Innovation Council has also beenset up, which aims to conceptualise innovative measures toimprove government, health, infrastructure and economicsystems.

The entrepreneur said President Barack Obama''s recentvisit to India in November opened more opportunities for Indiaand he had given Obama a rundown on India''s public informationinfrastructure.

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

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

"We need to see how we can benefit from technology," headded.

Speaking on innovation, Pitroda said that just like thetelecom industry took 20 years to get transformed, it wouldtake 20 years for the information technology industry to turnaround.

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