Asking IITs to come together to find innovative solutions to the problems of the common man, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said they should take up the challenge of making products for which India is critically dependent on imports.
"Science is universal. Technology must be local," the PM said, calling upon IITs to bring about a "positive change" in the quality of life of the people in the country.
Citing examples of a range of defence and health sector equipment and sensitive and security-related items like currency ink and tear gas which are imported, he exuded confidence that India has the talent to produce them indigenously.
"I refuse to believe that India does not have the talent to make these things" the PM said, asking the IITs to take up such challenges.
Addressing a conference of Chairmen of Boards of Governors and directors of IITs presided over by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan here, he asked them to come out with projects that can provide innovative solutions to the common people in their day-to-day lives.
He also asked IITs to adopt nearby engineering colleges to play a "mentoring" role and search for innovations developed by people.
Describing IITians as a "great force", he said IITs must encourage their alumni to interact with students so that their experience can be leveraged and sought their systemic mapping and grouping for optimum utilisation of their experience.
He asked them to contribute towards fulfilling the vision of "housing for all" through technology that would enable rapid construction of economical, eco-friendly and structurally sound houses.
Modi also asked them to contribute towards user-friendly innovation in Indian Railways.