Clinton Global Initiative and IIT Alumni

Clinton Global Initiative and IIT Alumni

Former US President Bill Clinton spoke at the Global conference of the alumni of the Institutes of Technology  (IITs)last Saturday. He was as passionate, artculate and direct as ever and he spoke about the work of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in India, Africa and Haiti. Incidentally the CGI may fund the largest solar farm in the world, in the Rann of Kutch in India’s western Gujarat state.

Clinton recalled how he had persuaded manufacturers of generic medicine to reduce the cost of their products for treating the side effects of AIDS. He cited the example set by India’s Cipla in offering low cost medicines to fight AIDS. The Indian companies like Cipla changed the way drug companies worked. Instead of concentrating on high cost medicine which the poor hardly afford, they started offering high volume but low cost medicine. He challenged IITans to come up with more business models to fight inequities and health problems worldwide. As President of Pan IIT USA, Inc, I got to shake hands with big Bill himself, see photo.

Gunjan Bagla with President Bill Clinton
Gunjan Bagla with President Bill Clinton

Pointing out that India has “the largest number of NGOs per capita” anywhere in the world, he applauded their work, challenging at the same time IITans and other similar institutions to make the NGO work even more effective.

The IIT Alumni conference is held every year, alternating between the United States and India.  The most recent one was held in the Chicago area this month.

Gunjan Bagla, President Pan IIT USA, Inc
Gunjan Bagla, President Pan IIT USA, Inc

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