Pragyan Youth Summit 2017: India’s Innovation Imperative

pragyan youth summit

“Let’s Celebrate Technology!”

This is Pragyan put into simple words. The annual international Techno-Management fest of NIT Trichy, Pragyan is completely run by students and, is the first student-run organization in the world to get an ISO 20121:2012 Certification for Sustainable Event Management. Pragyan conducts a plethora of events, workshops, outreach programs, exhibitions and guest lectures every year.

On the 28th of January at Chennai, Pragyan hosted the Pragyan Youth Summit, a platform to address ‘India’s Innovation Imperative’, by creating an opportunity to encourage and inform the youth on the importance of innovation, and en-kindle young minds to think and redefine conventions. Pragyan Youth Summit 2017 was a one-of-its-kind student endeavor to take stock of this radical change around us in terms of innovation and provide solutions to accelerate innovative Indian technologies into the global markets.

The day saw two keynote addresses, one from Padma Shri Dr. Anil Kumar Gupta, the founder of Honey Bee Network and the other by Dr. Aloknath De, the CTO of Samsung R&D India. Dr. Gupta emphasized on the need for innovation in the Indian society through various real-time examples where he had witnessed the effect of innovation. Many a times, due to necessity and challenges, a product of innovation is created at the bottom of the pyramid which is called Grassroots Innovation. This was explained by Dr. De, who presented his talk on the importance of lateral thinking in improving innovation and smart engineering.

The panel discussions were intriguing as much as they were thought-provoking. ‘Marching towards the Innovation Economy’ was the topic of the first discussion which was moderated by Dr. Prashant Salwan, a faculty at IIM Indore. The other panelists included Cmde. R B Verma, Dr. Manish Gupta, Former VP at Xerox Corp., Dr. Anil Wali, Director of FITT, Mr. Chandan Potukuchi of SAP and Dr. Sumanth C Raman. The discussion was intense with topics ranging from India’s capacity and potential to innovate to the reasons why India’s global ranking in innovation is sub-par.

The panelists also discussed the importance of innovation in healthcare and related areas, as well as how the government can help bring about better innovation. It was shortly followed by a Q&A session with the audience raising their concerns on business models and their impact on the innovation of public services.

The second panel discussion was on ‘Inclusive Innovation’ which had Mr. Dhimant Parekh, founder of, as its moderator. Ms. Ajaita Shah, CEO of Frontier Markets, Mr. Kartik Desai, Principal of Asha Impact, Dr. Priyanka Sarkar, VP at ICFA and Dr. Arun Venkatesan, CTO at Villigro were the other panelists present. The discussion was on various fields that were in dire need of innovation and mainly revolved around education and agriculture. It was a very interactive session and the panelists showed great enthusiasm in answering the questions posed by the participants and also cited personal experiences to explain their view.

As the grand finale for the Summit, the stage saw Mr. Zubin Sharma, the founder and CEO of Project Potential and Mr. Amol Arora, MD of SHEMFORD Futuristic Schools, deliberate under the banner of ‘Breaking Barriers’. An interactive session of two like-minded personalities from contrasting backgrounds, ‘Breaking Barriers’ covered the different aspects of innovative entrepreneurship and offered counsel to budding entrepreneurs on their ideas and business models.

PYS was envisioned with the main idea of bringing technology and innovation one step closer to the youth, and more importantly, to inspire the essence of leadership in the student community. Pragyan Youth Summit 2017 concluded with one major takeaway. Our nation knows what it takes to innovate – a continual commitment towards science and research and an economic climate that rewards innovation and entrepreneurship.

Also Read: Make In India But Can India Make It ? – Pragyan’s Youth Business Summit Discussion !