Home India News Bill Clinton to address IIT summit in Chicago

Bill Clinton to address IIT summit in Chicago


New York : Former American President Bill Clinton will be among many top leaders to address the seventh Pan-IIT Global Conference being held in Chicago in October.

Kapil Sibal, Indian minister for human resource development; Sam Pitroda, Indian Knowledge Commission chairman; Aneesh Chopra, America’s chief technology officer; and Meera Shankar, Indian ambassador in the US, will be among other keynote speakers at the Pan-IIT Global Conference to be held in Chicago from Oct 9-11.

According to conference chairman Ray Mehra, ‘Entrepreneurship and Innovation in a Global Economy’ is the theme of this year’s techie summit. Over 3,000 IITians from around the world will attend the annual gathering to be opened by Sibal. Chopra will deliver the keynote address.

“We have invited President Clinton since the goals of his William J. Clinton Foundation and the Pan-IIT conference are the same. We have common areas like energy, climate change, health care and education to work on,” Mehra told IANS.

“The president and other global leaders in their fields will discuss how we can transform ideas into action on both sides of the ocean (in the US and India),” he said.

Mehra said the Pan-IIT summit will take a holistic approach to problems in areas like health and energy in India.

“We will discuss how the public health system (PHS) in India can be steered with inputs from the PHS in the US which is under massive changes now,” he said.

Mehra said the conference will also discuss its proposal called Panch Ratnas submitted to the Indian government to revolutionize higher education in the country.

“We presented a white paper titled PanIIT Panch Ratnas to President Pratibha Patil last month, proposing a five-point action plan to make India the global hub for knowledge creation and talent development by 2022. We will debate this in detail in Chicago,” he said.

Pan-IIT’s Panch Ratnas include implementation of wholesale policy reforms in education, quality control and increase capacity, and ‘quantum improvement in faculty service conditions, deployment of technology for teaching and collaborative research, and the establishment of an industry-academia interface, according to Mehra.

Other prominent speakers at the summit include James Owens, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc., Sharon Oster, dean of the Yale School of Management, Tulsi Tanti, chairman of Suzlon Energy, Carl Shramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, and Prof Raghuram G. Rajan of the University of Chicago and former chief economist of the IMF.

There are said to be an estimated 35,000 IITians in the US.