The markers of these times are green growth, blue economy, climate change, artificial intelligence, innovation and smart solutions. From Berne to Bengaluru, and from research labs to manufacturing floors, much work is being done in these domains. – Ram Nath Kovind, President of India
President of India Ram Nath Kovind today said that India and Switzerland have long shared democratic values, pluralism and enterprise. The world looks at both of us with admiration. You are among the world’s oldest democracy wherein more than 2000 communes function democratically. And India the world’s largest democracy with a 900 million electorate, out of which over 600 million participated in the largest festival of democracy on this planet, just a few months back.
The president was speaking at the University of Berne on India – Switzerland new age partnership: Connecting Alps with Himalayas. He said: “We metaphorically describe the deep foundational connection between the Indian and Swiss thought and values as the ‘Connection between the Alps and the Himalayas’. The energy of these mountains has ever drawn our people closer”.
The President drew attention to over 80 scientific institutions and 300 researchers from India and Switzerland who have connected with each other on joint programmes. Under these, four Virtual Centers of Excellence on Micro-Engineering, Micro-Electronics, Diseases Control and Advanced Materials have been established in India.
Earlier this year, The President said Swiss Astrosat 0.2 satellite was set in orbit by India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. A few weeks ago, our second moon Mission, Chandrayaan 2 was launched. The gains from the Mission are firing the determination of our space scientists to conquer new frontiers. Our accomplishments, indeed, open new possibilities for bilateral collaboration.
The President further said that Switzerland is a world leader on innovation. Inspired by you, we are also making new strides in the fields of Start-ups and smart solutions. India today hosts the third largest start-up network in the world with over 21,000 enterprises working on subjects as varied as robotics and vitiligo. Several Swiss and Indian start-ups have already join hands to create solutions for climate change, human health and more. We look forward to many more such partnerships.
The world of innovation and cyberspace go hand in hand Kovind said adding digital revolution has made public service just a click away and e-commerce the preferred shopping experience. Financial inclusion and fin-tech services are helping us with greater cashless economy. Opportunities in the digital world are limitless, but it needs an effective security cover. We must strengthen cyber security cooperation, both bilaterally and with the global community.
The President said that Switzerland and India are leading global action on Climate Change. India is on course to meet its commitments under the Paris accord to reduce energy intensity of its growth and to achieve 40 percent of its energy use from non-fossil sources. We have taken the lead on the International Solar Alliance to promote solar energy worldwide.
Praising the role of the Mumbai film industry in bringing India and Switzerland close, the President said no word on Indo-Swiss partnership, past, present or future, is complete without our people-to-people ties. Bollywood has taken Switzerland to every nook and corner of India. Whether it is the snow clad Jungfrau or the ITU Monument in front of the Einstein Museum in Berne, the Indian movie industry has captured it all. The scenes from Indian movies can be as effective as Google Maps in understanding the topography of Switzerland!