NITI Aayog CEO calls IIM alumni to strengthen Startup India, other govt missions

Amitabh Kant says the key to transforming India is if private and public sectors can work together


NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. File photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. File photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

New Delhi: NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant wants to work with the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) to strengthen Startup India and other government initiatives.

“We are looking for great mentors who can actually join hands to transform India. The key to transforming India is if private and public sectors can work together. I will be very happy to hear your ideas on how we can use you for campaigns like Startup India and Atal Tinkering Laboratories,” Kant said on Saturday.

As a part of the Atal Innovation Mission named after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, NITI Aayog is setting up close to 500 Atal Tinkering Laboratories in schools to spread a culture of innovation.

“We are providing hardware. But, I also know that we will not succeed if we don’t get the right mentors,” Kant said at IIMAGES 2017, the 100th pan-IIM monthly get-together in Delhi.

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He was speaking to over 100 IIM alumni of different batches from the IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Lucknow, Kozhikode, Indore, Shillong and Rohtak. IIM alumni hold these informal meetings every month.

These meetings throw up potential business and job opportunities, said Salil Agrawal, an IIM-Ahmedabad graduate of the 1983 batch.

The alumni are keen to explore the ways in which they can partner with NITI Aayog, a government think tank that has replaced the Planning Commission.

“We have alumni with very diverse experiences and a lot of us will be willing to contribute time and energy towards nation-building. It is needless to say that this experience could be very useful in conceptualising projects and ensuring execution. At this stage, it is very difficult to comment on how this relationship will pan out,” said Agrawal, who is CEO of start-up consulting firm Suvitama.

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