The seventh annual Pan-IIT Global Conference ended with alumni of the prestigious institutes chalking out plans to make India the global knowledge hub by 2022.Chairman Ray Mehra explained that one of the main initiatives is concerned with the Industrial Training Institutes, which are important to meet India's manpower and creating jobs. For this he mentioned that retired IITians will be involved and major cities will be the first targets. Promoted by California-based IITian Desh Deshpande, the Akshaya Patra Foundation helps run the world's largest mid-day meal scheme feeding more than a million children. The summit also firmed up its plans to push educational reform in India as outlined in their so-called Panch Ratnas presented to the Indian president in July.
The MoUs, he said, will boost research collaboration between Indian and US universities and facilitate faculty exchanges. As per its theme of `Entrepreneurship and Innovation in a Global Economy', the IIT summit was addressed by top guns from energy and health care sectors. Clinton, who was the main speaker at the summit, called the IITians India's `best and brightest'. Holding a cheap toy lamp which can light two rooms, the former US president urged IITians to innovate to usher in cheap technologies for the common man. Aneesh Chopra, Obama's chief technology officer, also touched upon major areas in technology with immense future opportunities. Other prominent speakers at the summit included James Owens, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc., and Raghuram G. Rajan of the University of Chicago and former chief economist of the IMF.