India-Australia to play key role in shaping post-COVID world



New Delhi

The strong India-Australia partnership will play an important role in shaping the post-COVID world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday and expressed confidence that the two countries would take the lead in providing circular economy solutions.

Addressing the valedictory function of the India-Australia Circular Economy Hackathon, Modi said consumption-oriented economic models have put a great strain on the planet.

“We must never forget that we are not the owners of all that Mother Earth has to offer, but merely its trustees for all the future generations to come,” he said.

Stressing that it is not enough to make production processes more efficient and less polluting, Modi said no matter how fast or slow one drives, if the direction is wrong, then one is bound to reach the wrong destination.

“And so, we must set the right direction,” he added.

The Prime Minister called for looking at consumption patterns, and how their ecological impact can be reduced.

Noting that this is where the concept of a circular economy comes in, Modi said the concept can be a key step in solving many of our challenges.

Recycling and reusing things, eliminating waste, and improving resource efficiency must become part of our lifestyles, the Prime Minister asserted.

Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison also felicitated the participants of the India Australia Circular Economy Hackathon(I-ACE) at a virtual award ceremony.

The idea of the hackathon originated during the India-Australia Virtual Leaders’ Summit between the Prime Ministers of India and Australia, held on June 4, 2020.

“This hackathon has seen innovative solutions from Indian and Australian students, start-ups and entrepreneurs. These innovations show your commitment to the philosophy of circular economy,” Modi said.

“I have no doubt that your innovations will inspire our two countries to take the lead in circular economy solutions,” he said.

Also, ways must be explored to scale-up and incubate these ideas, Modi said.

Circular economy implies reusing waste back into the production cycle to make new products  instead of wasting such materials with embedded resources.

Modi asserted that the power of youth comes from openness to new ideas and innovations, and the ability to take risks.

The energy and enthusiasm of today’s youthful participants is a symbol of the forward-looking partnership between India and Australia, he said.

“I have full confidence in the energy, creativity and out-of-box thinking of our youth. They can offer sustainable, holistic solutions to not just our two countries but to the whole world,” the prime minister said.

The strong India-Australia partnership will play an important role in shaping the post-COVID world, he said.