Amid the deadly Coronavirus pandemic, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday interacted with Indian overseas scholars and students through video conference. The interaction was based on the theme 'India's Response to The Global Pandemic: Roadmap for New India'. Gadkari interacted with Overseas Indian Students from 43 Universities of various countries apart from Indian origin scientists from NASA. During the interaction, he asked Indian overseas students to make concerted efforts to convert COVID-19 adversity into an opportunity.
"Gadkari has undertaken a massive outreach exercise in the last few days with various sections and sectors of the society by way of webinars, video conferences, and other social media platforms. This has resulted in taking communication outreach with about 1.30 crore people," read a statement from the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
Addressing the students, Gadkari said, "The way ahead for India is clearly in us remaining positive and making concerted efforts to convert this adversity into an opportunity."
"At the same time, as we are moving ahead restarting various activities, all of us need to follow all the precautions regarding health protocols to prevent transmission of COVID-19 virus," he added.
The Union Minister stated that industries — big, medium, small or micro will also have to effect a paradigm shift in the way they were doing their business operations.
"Apart from ensuring use of masks, sanitisers, and social distancing and making food-shelters arrangements for labourers. in keeping with social distancing norms, they need to take up boosting import substitution, start business and industries in new areas away from major cities thus decongest the metro towns," Gadkari was quoted as saying.
"Our efforts need to meet not only Indian demand but also cater to the global market as many companies and counties are looking to shift away from China," he said.
The minister called upon the Indian students studying abroad to contribute to this goal in a big way as youth have stakes in India thriving and leading the world.
He mentioned that 22 Green Express Highways are being developed and work on a new alignment of Delhi-Mumbai Expressway has started.
Gadkari has interacted with about 8,000 business leaders, industrialists, entrepreneurs so far, listening to their issues and conveying their matters to relevant ministries and departments including, Finance, Commerce and Industry, Railways, Labour and Employment, the statement said.
(with ANI inputs)