Innovation key to sustainable growth: Jayant Sinha

India needs to leverage technology to stimulate sustainable development, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said Wednesday, calling upon entrepreneurs to develop innovative products for conserving the environment.

In his inaugural address at the curtain raiser of the 15th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) here, Sinha propagated “innovation for sustabilbility” as the “true need of the hour and the only solution” for mitigating the challenges of climate change in the country.

Recognising India’s growth as imperative, Sinha said: “We want to put India on a sustainable non-inflation growth trajectory of 7 to 8 percent growth rate… if we want to find employment for 10 to 12 million young people that join our workforce every year.

“Such a high growth power would double the size of our economy in next 10 years… and for this we undoubtedly need to build our productive capacity. But we also need to ensure that our growth is sustainable,” he said at the three-day summit organised by The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) here.

To ensure a sustainable growth trajectory, Sinha said: “We should not only make in India, but also innovate in India, for India. It is this innovation that can help us solve our environment problem and let us grow sustainably.”

He said a “vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem” was needed to nurture and promote entrepreneurs who would develop innovative products and devise solutions to the problem linked with the need for rapid growth and the corresponding effect on environment.

Sinha assured that such entrepreneurs would have “support” of the government.

Describing water scarcity, pollution, and environmental change as the three key roadblocks in India’s need for a fast-track growth, the minister said innovations like TERI’s biodegradable plastics was “precisely the type of innovation that we need in India” for ensuring a growth while conserving the environment.

The minister said technology and sustainable growth were not in an adversarial relationship and they could be effectively used to compliment one another.

“With clever and innovative technology we can develop products that promote sustainable growth and only with such growth can we keep developing. We need a true partnership bet business, innovators and in terms of environment conservation,” he said.

Over the past 14 years, the DSDS has been serving as an annual platform to discuss issues of sustainability and relevant policy interventions to ensure a sustainable future.

Themed as “Sustainable Development Goals and Dealing with Climate Change”, the 15th edition of the summit will see the presence of UN secretary general Ban ki-Moon (via video conference), former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, TERI director general and chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change R.K. Pachuri as well as other state dignitaries along with several environment enthusiasts from across the world.

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