Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel on Monday said strengthening entrepreneurship education is a way forward to achieve self-sufficiency, economic development, job creation and growth of India. Addressing the Gandhinagar-based Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India’s (EDII) annual VG Patel Memorial Lecture virtually, Patel also emphasised the need for entrepreneurship training involving all sections of society to ensure inclusive growth of the country.
She said prosperity and success for India will get redefined the day it is hailed as an “entrepreneurial nation”. “Strengthening entrepreneurship education is the way to achieving self-sufficiency, economic development, job creation and growth. It will not be easy to make it all-pervasive in a country like India, where job security has been celebrated for decades. But certainly, a strong beginning has been made and heartening results are also coming about,” she said.
Patel was speaking on the topic of ‘Importance of Entrepreneurship Education in Higher Learning Institutions. “The day India starts being hailed as a start-up or an entrepreneurial nation, prosperity and success for us will get redefined,” she said. The former Gujarat chief minister also said the power of the nation where “entrepreneurship blooms” was well reflected in the example of how India did not just become self-sufficient but also started exporting face masks, sanitisers and PPE kits which it was struggling to access during the onset of COVID-19 pandemic.
Imparting entrepreneurship training to all the sections of society is a must for inclusive growth, she said. “Every country targets inclusive growth. India too has directed efforts in this direction. And, for this, we have realised that emphasis on entrepreneurship, involving training for all segments and sections of society, is a must,” she said, adding that various Central schemes such as Start-Up India, Stand-Up India etc have supported entrepreneurial ventures of, especially disadvantaged groups.
The governor further said India needs more entrepreneurs, and orienting students towards choosing it as a career could be a rewarding decision in the direction of achieving this objective. “It certainly requires concerted efforts not just from authorities, regulatory bodies and institutions but also from the society at large. Given the increasing faith in entrepreneurship as a growth engine, I feel hopeful about seeing many more success stories,” she said.
Patel also underlined the need to increase the number of technocrats and professionals as entrepreneurs to address the changing trends and preferences of entrepreneurial endeavours. “No wonder students from technical universities have come forward and done well as entrepreneurs. But, these numbers need to increase now and considering that entrepreneurs can be developed through training and counselling interventions from among youths of varied backgrounds, this should be our priority,” she said.
The governor further said that higher learning institutions can play a critical role in shaping the “student mindset” by designing and offering courses that are “at the intersection of innovation, business skills and entrepreneurial mindset.” Speaking on the occasion, Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said Gujarat is one of the first states to come up with ‘Student Start-up Innovation Policy’ for entrepreneurship at institutional level.
“Gujarat has created a conducive ecosystem by establishing a Gujarat Startup Innovation Hub, I-Hub, where startups are provided with networking, co-working, laboratories, mentorship, and funding facilities,” he said, adding the state is facilitating collaboration between government, industry and youth to address start-up concerns through innovative and sustainable solutions. EDII Director General Sunil Shukla recalled late Dr. V.G. Patel’s “exceptional contribution to the economic development of the nation through the concept of entrepreneurship”.