The 19th edition of the India Today Conclave kicked off with the theme #ABETTERNORMAL on Friday. A galaxy of renowned leaders and personalities from across the fields of sports, politics, business, and Bollywood, among other areas, graced the platform and exchanged ideas on building a better world.
But picture abhi baaki hai! Day 2 of the India Today Conclave 2021 promises to be just as thought-provoking with a line-up that includes Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Indian Army Chief of Staff General M M Naravane, actors Sanya Malhotra, Pankaj Tripathi and Richa Chadha, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
Here’s the complete list of the speakers for Saturday:
- Himanta Biswa Sarma | Chief Minister, Assam
- General M.M. Naravane | Chief of the Army Staff
- Sanjeev Sanyal | Principal Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance
- Arif Mohammed Khan | Governor, Kerala
- Aparna Purohit | Head of India Originals, Amazon Prime Video
- Richa Chadha | Actor
- Pankaj Tripathi | Actor
- Sanya Malhotra | Actor
- Bharat Lal | Additional Secretary (Water), Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation. Ministry of Jal Shakti
- Rajendra Singh | ‘Waterman’ of India
- Hardeep Singh Puri | Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas
- Bimal Patel | Architect; President, CEPT University
- Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran | Goalkeeper and former captain, Men’s Hockey Team
- Savita | Goalkeeper, Women’s Hockey Team
- Manpreet Singh | Captain, Men’s Hockey Team
- Rani | Captain, Women’s Hockey Team
- Andrew Small | Senior transatlantic fellow, GMF Asia; Author
- Shivshankar Menon | Former Foreign Secretary of India
- Harsh V. Shringla | Foreign Secretary of India
- Anurag Thakur | Union Minister for I&B and Youth Affairs & Sports
- Kiren Rijiju | Union Minister of Law and Justice of India
- Rakesh Tikait | Farmer Leader and national spokesperson, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU)
- Rajendra Agrawal | Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
- Sumit Gupta | Co-founder and CEO, CoinDCX
- Sathvik Vishwanath | Co-Founder & CEO, Unocoin
- Kunal Nandwani | uTrade Technologies
- Sanjay Mehta | Founder & Partner, 100X.VC
- Ashish Singhal | Co-founder & CEO, CoinSwitch Kuber
- Shashi Tharoor | Member of Parliament
- Vikram Sampath | Historian, Author
- Sanjiv Puri | Chairman and Managing Director, ITC Limited
- Gunjan Menon | Conservationist & Film Maker
- Malaika Vaz | Conservationist & Film Maker
- Disha Ravi | Climate activist
- Rahul Garg | Founder & CEO, Moglix
- Sandeep Aggarwal | Founder, DROOM
- Abhiraj Bhal | Founder & CEO, Urban Company
- Mayank Kumar | Co-founder and MD, upGrad
- James Wilks | Director and star of The Game Changers
- Genelia Deshmukh & Riteish Deshmukh | Co-founders, Imagine Meats
- Dr Ian Lipkin | Virologist
- Piyush Goyal | Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles
- Sanjay Nayar | Chairman, KKR India
- Kunal Bahl | CEO, Snapdeal
- T. V. Narendran | Global CEO & MD, Tata Steel; President, CII
- Bill Gates | Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
DAY 1 RECAP
The first day of the conclave opened with Olympic gold medallists Neeraj Chopra and Abhinav Bindra sharing inspirational stories and opening up about injuries, mental health and their sporting journeys so far.
In the next session, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari was in conversation with the founders of HOP Electric Mobility and Okinawa, Ketan Mehta and Jeetender Sharma respectively. They discussed the shift to a green economy in India. Nitin Gadkari said the aim is to make India “Aatmanirbhar” in the production of electric batteries.
Shortly after, a panel including para-badminton player Pramod Bhagat and president of the Paralympic Committee of India Deepa Malik discussed India’ performance at the Tokyo Paralympics. The athletes shared their tales of resilience in the sporting world.
Tokyo Paralympics gold medallist Pramod Bhagat speaks at the India Today Conclave (Image Courtesy: India Today | Chandradeep Kumar)
During a session about a possible ‘drone revolution’ in India, NewSpace Research & Technologies CEO Sameer Joshi said, “A large swarm of UAVs working together can be first responders during a natural disaster. You launch a big swarm of drones that can send the first report and the state of affairs be it flooding, earthquakes.”
Later, Professor Malcolm Grant spoke about the Covid-19 pandemic, its challenges and mistakes that leaders made while handling the pandemic. He is the founder chair of NHS England.
Billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala said that India’s time is here and now. “It is my opinion that people will be surprised at the upside of the Indian bill. Here’s a country with $1 trillion of savings, projected to go up to $3 trillion of savings by 2030,” he said.
In conversation with India Today’s Rajdeep Sardesai, Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai said, “Our party principle is strong Centre and strong states. That makes a strong nation. As far as administration is concerned, there are certain issues where you have to consult [Centre] and sometimes the Centre consults us.”
In a top-billed session about Afghanistan, former Chief Executive of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah stated that “some sort of engagement with the Taliban regime is inevitable.” He had been asked what role India should play with regard to Afghanistan.
A fascinating session saw former Indian and Pakistan diplomats, along with a former Afghan pilot, discuss the volatile South Asian neighbourhood and how each country navigates the same.
Did you think the Americans will leave Afghanistan one day? Former Afghan pilot Col Rahman Rahmani responds. Former diplomat Gautam Mukhopadhaya humnanitarian crisis is top priority. (@GauravCSawant) #ABetterNormal
Full coverage – https://t.co/6b756HWApr pic.twitter.com/TtkI6ruylG
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) October 8, 2021
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also graced the event. While most of his answers were diplomatically perfect nearly to a fault, he did say that there was no credible reason why China had brought large forces to the India-China border in 2020.
During his session, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Thomas Friedman used five words to describe today’s world. The five words were fast, fused, deep, open and smart. He gave an insight into the new world and said that “mother nature is the greatest superpower of all”.
During the day’s penultimate session, BJP president JP Nadda promised that law would take its course with regard to the Lakhimpur incident. He also said that BJP has been preparing for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh election for a long time now.
Ending Conclave 2021’s Day 1 on a starry note, actor Vicky Kaushal and filmmaker Shoojit Sircar spilled some secrets with regard to their upcoming film Sardar Udham. Among other things, Vicky Kaushal said that filming the Jallianwala Bagh scene for the film had been a “numbing experience”.
ABOUT INDIA TODAY CONCLAVE
India Today Conclave is India’s first and only Intelligence Exchange that engages every stakeholder to build an agenda for a positive change. It dissects every relevant fact, amplifies every sensible voice. It’s a leadership conference where the sharpest global minds come together to analyse, debate, inspire, entertain, and, of course, prescribe solutions. For nearly two decades, India Today Conclave has been a global diagnostic, measuring the pulse of the world, making sense of random developments and predicting the next big thing.
For more details, please visit indiatodayconclave.com.