Prof. M Jagadesh Kumar, Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC) was the Chief Guest at the 6th Foundation Day of Association for Scientific Pursuits for Innovative Research Enterprises (ASPIRE), a Section-8 company at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) on 1st March 2024. It was a day filled with insights from esteemed speakers across government, industries, Venture Capitalists, and incubation ecosystems. Many people associated with start-ups; pharma & IT firms were part of this special occasion which explored “Strategies for Sustainable Growth of Deep-Tech Startups” with long gestation periods.



In his inaugural address Prof. M Jagadesh Kumar said, “we are facing major challenges around the globe and need to use technological advances to find solutions for them. Biodiversity is another important issue which we all must address to save the species from being harmed. Human activities are going beyond the limits which the earth systems can sustain. Hence whenever we talk about scientific innovations it should also be seen along with societal values”. “We have to look at the convergence of the knowledge we are creating; the technological innovations that are coming out of this knowledge and the societal values. There has to be a convergence of all these three aspects. Globally, prosperity has to be uniform. All countries must prosper”, he added.


Prof. Jagadesh Kumar said, “People are now focussing on careers rather than work-life balance. So many pressures are the reason for this and in turn we have become too competitive. Many people are coming out of the profession even when they are active and healthy. We need to seriously look at these issues and find solutions”.



“The other challenge we face is Gender fairness. We must ensure a women-led development in our country. Specially in science and technology, social sciences, administration etc. there should be more women who should be treated well and on equal terms with men at the work place” he added.


Prof. Kumar further observed, “Materials in nature must be protected. For example, in making a chip used in mobile phones we need around 70 rare earth materials. Even one material in shortage will create problems. The amount of energy used years ago was very small compared to the present where it has multiplied thousands of times. When our lives have become too stressful, self-centred and too many challenges to face, how do we produce this energy that is required for all these needs”. “We need to think on helping our farmers in increasing the output per acreage which will help the country in Food Security”, he added.



In the end Prof. Kumar touched upon the lifestyle illnesses being faced by the younger population in the country and stressed upon the corrective measures to be adopted in one’s daily life. Change in lifestyle and stress management is necessary to lead a life that is healthy and build a society that is cooperative to each other. He said, “We must ensure Inclusive development, reduce inequalities in society and come out with solutions to tackle climate change. Our Ultimate goal should be to realise Sustainable wellbeing of Humans”.


Prof. B J Rao, Vice Chancellor, UoH expressed his happiness to Prof. Jagadesh Kumar for sparing his valuable time to be at the University. Dr. Anil Kondreddy, Chief Operating Officer, ASPIRE Bio-NEST gave a warm welcome and briefed about history and the activities of Aspire over the years.


The daylong program saw insightful talks on AI, biotherapeutics, and also a panel discussion on securing investments for long-gestation startups.