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On September 27th, honorable guest Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India presided over the signing of an MOU between UC Berkeley and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), represented by Dean Ashish Nanda.  Professor Solomon Darwin was invited to attend two private events by the ambassador of India, Arun K. Singh. The MOU was created to accelerate more start-ups in India.  Darwin represented the Garwood Center and Berkeley Haas at the signing ceremony endorsed by Prime Minister Modi to foster entrepreneurial activities between the US and Indian economy.


It is believed that the 21st century is India’s century. President Modi hopes that the event will inspire more start-ups to work towards providing Indian citizens with efficient and clean resources as well as aid their transition to e-governance and Smart Cities. He also announced the launch of $150 million Bharat Fund, aimed at creating and providing support to disruptive start-ups impacting areas such as agriculture, health, and energy.  Modi’s presence was dedicated to his support for his vision of  ‘Start-up India, Stand-up India’. Much of the India that we dream of is yet to be built, and we have the opportunity to shape its path now.


“From large corporate to young professionals in this great center of innovation, each can be part of the Digital India story. We must promote digital literacy in the same way that we seek to ensure general literacy.” – Prime Minister Modi


Prime Minister Modi also spoke about India’s transition to the digital age and why it is necessary for the country to thrive. The creation of Smart Cities will streamline efficiency, increase sustainability, and make areas more interconnected. Behind the city itself, he hopes to have a digital government where all questions and issues can be resolved via an app. After MyGov.in, he has just launched the Narendra Modi Mobile App in order to stay in touch with people and learn from citizens. In order to transition to Digital India, Modi states,We must ensure that technology is accessible, affordable, and adds value. Affordability of products and services is critical for our success.”


The Garwood Center plans to aid the Prime Minister’s vision for ‘Digital India’ by implementing Berkeley Haas’ and UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering’s Smart Cities course in India to spread the knowledge of Open Innovation.


“We will use information technology to build smart cities and transform governance, making it more transparent, accountable, accessible and participative.” – Prime Minister Modi



By Lorja Fogel