Umagine Chennai 2023, a technology and innovation event held in Chennai, was held at the Chennai Trade Center on March 23 to 25, 2023. The event was organised by the Government of Tamil Nadu and Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT). The event was marked by a speech delivered by the State Chief Minister MK Stalin, laying out his vision for Tamil Nadu’s future growth.

Through video speech, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister announced that his plan to make Tamil Nadu a trillion-dollar economy by 2030, stating that this would lead to the generation of 2.5 million jobs. He stressed the importance of following the Dravidian model to bring about growth, starting from the grassroots. He further said that he would work to transform Tamil Nadu into “the biggest technology hub in Asia.”

At the Valedictory Session of Umagine 2023 – A Technology, Entrepreneurship and Skills Summit was concluded with the Valedictory Session presided by Thiru. Udhayanidhi Stalin, Hon’ble Minister of Youth Welfare and Sports Development.

In his valedictory speech, the Minister said: “It is a privilege to be here at this important platform that celebrates the role of technology in enabling growth and development. As many of the other Ministers have mentioned, technology has a key role to play in building the trillion-dollar economy for Tamil Nadu. The duty of shaping technology-enabled growth lies with our young population, i.e., all of us! As we look into the future, we have a great opportunity to drive sustainable and inclusive growth for India.

India especially Tamil Nadu with a young workforce will constitute nearly 20% of the world’s working age population in the coming decades. But this is accompanied by an important responsibility for all of us.

In the next 25 years, we will need to generate more than 220 million incremental jobs to employ India’s young population. The fabric of the new workforce would include employment in emerging technology & digital sectors that will require new skills and capabilities. If we rise to this challenge, we can play a critical role to bring our entire population above the poverty line.

Thiru. Mano Thangaraj, TN Minister for Information Technology & Digital Services Department, delivering his Special Address at the inauguration of UMAGINE 2023

Certainly, Tamil Nadu is a pioneer in making lakhs of technocrats and professional. Thanks to the stupendous steps in the field of technology which were initiated by our visionary leader Dr. Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi. For the first time in India, Dr. Kalaignar introduced the State Information Technology Policy in 1996. It was later adopted by the Union Government. In 1996, Kalaignar brought the Computerization into Tamil Nadu and spearheaded to spread the computer usage and education. This resulted in the increase of software products’ exports. Since Kalaignar scrapped the entrance tests, it opened greater avenues for rural and downtrodden youths to emerge as great technocrats and to position them on the global stage. After clearing decks for accessing higher education, the DMK Government under the leadership of Dr. Kalaignar established the Tidel Park in Chennai in the year 1999. Kalaignar’s Vision made the Rajiv Gandhi Road to be called as the IT Corridor- as it is an important IT cluster in the world map. Currently, the IT Corridor has at least 4000 IT and IT Enabled Services companies with more than eight lakhs IT workers.

Tamil Nadu has numerous privileges. We are the second largest economy in the country and amongst the fastest growing one in India. We have a great talent pool of youth and with this Tamil Nadu stands third place in the country’s gross enrolment ratio for secondary education. This is well above the national average which is about 57%. Our female labor force participation is nearly 40% which is closer to the global average and twice the country’s average. In order to ensure and encourage Girl students to pursue Higher Education and for stepping into the workforce. The Government under the able leadership of our Honourable Chief Minister has introduced the Pudhumai Penn Scheme. The scheme was to grant Rs. 1000 per month for women college students who had completed their schooling in Government schools. About 1.15 lakh girl students are benefitted with this scheme.

We are looking at many initiatives to support the youth and help our country realize its full potential. These include setting up modern digital and technology infrastructure, providing technology-led learning experiences in our schools and upskilling opportunities for youth in technology thrust areas like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Machine Learning and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), etc.

Our honourable Chief Minister has launched a special initiative named Naan Mudhalvan to create a skilled technical workforce. We provide technical and soft skills training to the targeted students. We are planning to cover all the educational institutions in the state. In this current financial year, the state government had announced in its Budget that about Rs. 50 crores will be allotted for Naan Mudhalvan Scheme. Currently, about 13 lakh students from engineering and arts and science colleges are being trained under the Naan Mudhalvan Scheme.

Thiru. Udhayanidhi Stalin, Hon’ble Minister of Youth Welfare and Sports Development, Government of Tamil Nadu, addressing the gathering at the valedictory session of UMAGINE 2023.

Further, through Tamil Nadu Technology Hub (iTNT) we are nurturing the ecosystem of startups in Emerging DeepTech areas with an academic network of more than 570 engineering colleges, engaging with researchers and industry partners to pave the way for the innovation that will drive the future. This event is a remarkable platform for all of us to converge talent from various geographies and domains. The crucial aspect of this Umagine technical conclave is to encourage participation from youth of this country, showcase their innovative ideas and learn from distinguished experts across sectors.

I urge all of you to make the most of this opportunity to collaborate with each other and build new ideas and businesses. I thank everybody for conducting this three-day event with the participation of more than 150 companies, 320 speakers, more than 120 sessions under four categories, and with the participation of 10,000+ people from across the globe, added Thiru. Udhayanidhi Stalin.

He thanked the Honourable IT Minister, Additional Chief Secretary, and Secretary to the IT department and all other dignitaries, and the Consulate Generals who visited this Conclave and signed Memorandum of Understanding with IT Department and Government of Tamil Nadu. You have the opportunity to shape our future.

Umagine will be a crucial platform for driving the technology-led growth spectrum of Tamil Nadu. I hope this summit had brought together start-ups, investors, industry flag-bearers, technology drivers, policymakers and academicians from all over the world. I am sure that this will showcase the thriving technology and innovation ecosystem in Tamil Nadu.

A group photo taken during the valedictory session of UMAGINE 2023.

We have a very good Brand Ambassador for our State – Our Hon’ble Chief Minister. In all the surveys, he has already been rated as the number One CM in the whole country. He is working hard to bring Tamil Nadu as the number One State in our country. I request each one of you to be the Brand Ambassador of the State and we will work together towards it”.

On this occasion, a Special Issue by ICT Academy of Tamil Nadu on “Innovation and Intelligence for Computing technologies” – IICT 2023 was released. 162 research articles received, 13 Research articles published, 05 Research articles presented and the winners are 1st Place: P. Helmholz, Curtin University, Western Australia, 2nd Place: Dr. Preethi, R.V. College of Engineering, Karnataka, 3rd Place: Mr. Venkata Raghava, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Andhra Pradesh.

Honourable Minister for Information Technology & Digital Services Department – Thiru. Mano Thangaraj, Member of State Planning Commission – Thiru. T.R.B. Rajaa, MLA, Additional Chief Secretary, Chairman & Managing Director, The Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation Limited – Thiru. Hans Raj Verma, IAS, Secretary to Government, Information Technology & Digital Services Department – Thiru J. Kumaragurubaran, IAS, Managing Director, ELCOT – Thiru. John Louis, IAS, Thiru. Dr. Sanjay Tyagi, Director, Software Technology Parks of India, Thiru. Satyakam Arya, Immediate Past Chairman, CII Tamil Nadu State Council and Managing Director & CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd., Thiru. Kewyn George, Advisory Council for Future IT & Emerging Technologies, delivered their special address during this Valedictory Session.