“I'm sure that collectively all of us can make a difference to India, to the India story. And we can live the change that we want to see in the country. We can contribute to that change and become equal stakeholders, equal partners in our journey of progress,” said India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal at a diaspora gathering in London.
Towards the last leg of his three-day visit to the UK this week, the minister interacted with fellow chartered accountants (CAs) from the UK Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and Indian-origin students in a free-wheeling conversation on a variety of subjects – from India’s path to becoming a developed nation by 2047, its attractive investment scenario and even Yoga and meditation.
“The world is looking up to each one of you, each one of us, collectively 140 crore Indians, and let's live up to their expectations. Let's make sure we can make India a developed nation by 2047, when we will celebrate 100 years. Let's see how we can all look up to our duties, kartavya bhavna which the Prime Minister [Modi] spoke off on August 15 ,” he said.
On the role he sees for academia, the minister said: “Academia, industry and government – we can actually look for a three-way partnership… The National Education Policy is changing all the archaic rules and enabling and encouraging liberal forms of education.”
He also called on the UK-based professionals of Indian origin to directly contact his office on any matters related to the ease of doing business in India or other issues faced by the diaspora in the UK.
Goyal was asked about finding time in his busy schedule for Yoga and other physical activities by an Olympic triathlon hopeful, to which he revealed Hyde Park as his favourite spot for walks while in London.
“I believe whether when I'm doing Yoga or I'm meditating, saying my prayers, or I'm doing my walk or on the treadmill, it helps break the monotony… For those of us in mundane desk jobs, sports can help bring that balance,” he shared.
On the subject of artificial intelligence (AI) and the role it will play in the future of professional qualifications, the minister described it as a fast evolving situation.
He said: “It shows us to keep our guard up all the time. We just cannot afford to be complacent as individuals.
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“We are also concerned about the regulation around artificial intelligence. In fact, Sam Altman, the founder of ChatGPT, was in India recently and appealed to Prime Minister Modi to take the lead as he expressed concern about the detrimental effect [of AI], not just on jobs, on very human development.”