The need of the hour is to ensure that there is an integration of science, technology and industry, according to M. Krishnan, Vice-Chancellor, Madurai Kamaraj University.
He was speaking at the inauguration of a conclave held for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs on New market opportunities in government procurement and Government e-Marketplace for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe businesspersons, at the university on Wednesday. The conclave was hosted in association with Passion Harmony Development Chamber of Commerce - India (PHDCCI) and Tamil Nadu Small Industries Development Corporation.
Mr. Krishnan said only a few ideas in India were being patented. At the MKU, only 12 patents have been applied for. There is a need to ensure that the expertise available with the university is utilised for the rural people when we tie up with industries, he said.
D.P. Goel, Chairman, MSME Committee, PHDCCI, said there was an under-representation of small industries in public procurement. He said large public enterprises were yet to make use of small entrepreneurs in the process of producing goods. With the announcement by the Centre that 20% of the annual goods must be procured from small businesses, particularly from SC/ST entrepreneurs, we hope to see a rise in their contribution to the economy, he said.
B. Muruganantham, president, Madurai District Tiny and Small-Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA), said the Association was trying to facilitate learning and government procurement for MSMEs. In our exhibitions, we tell entrepreneurs from SC/ST communities to put up stalls and display their products, but there are few takers, he said.
N. Sekar, a member of Dalit India Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said despite the availability of several Central schemes, banks refused to extend loans to SC entrepreneurs as they fear that they could turn bad debts.
H.P. Kumar, former Chairman and Managing Director, National Small Industries Corporation, and Ranjeet Mehta, Principal Director, PHDCCI, said businesses were moving towards technology. Mr. Kumar said livelihood incubation centres on academic campuses could make a large difference in creating job creators.
Sankar Natesan, heading the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights, MKU, and convenor of the conclave, said the aim of the event was to ignite an entrepreneurial fire in at least four students.
Former Registrar in-charge R. Sudha said it was essential to be passionate, to learn, unlearn and relearn to become an entrepreneur.