Congress MP Shashi Tharoor took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government on Monday after the latter expressed how impressed he was with a project developed at a hackathon in Chennai.
Speaking at the Singapore-India Hackathon at IIT-Madras, PM Modi gave a special mention to an innovation which supposedly can detect whether someone is paying attention or not. He said this project will be particularly useful in parliament.
"My young friends here have solved many problems today. I specially like the solution about cameras to detect who is paying attention. And now what will happen, you know? I will talk to my Speaker in parliament. I am sure it will be very useful to parliament," PM Modi said, speaking of the project developed by students that caught his attention.
In a late-night takedown, Mr Tharoor tweeted: "Agree that such an innovation will be useful, @narendramodi ji, if it is trained on your ministers, so they can be responsive to constructive criticisms &challenging... Parliament is not just for the rest of us to pay attention to the Govt's lectures. (sic)."
The Prime Minister's idea had drawn a loud applause from the crowd. "Today's hackathon is the start-up idea for tomorrow," he said on Monday.
The hackathon had 20 teams of three university students, each from India and Singapore, for exchange of culture and ideas.
This year, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras hosted the hackathon, which focussed on three themes - good health and well-being, quality education, and affordable and clean energy.
At the hackathon, PM Modi tried his hands at a multi-skills simulator, which claims to be the world's most advanced simulator for multi-skill training.
At a stall exhibiting clean water using nanotechnology, PM Modi applauded the efforts while suggesting further improvements. A wheelchair with a detachable motor component to turn into a three-wheeler also grabbed the attention of the Prime Minister, who enquired about its various aspects in detail.
"I congratulate the winners of the hackathon, and each and every young friend assembled here. Your willingness to confront challenges and find workable solutions is of much great value than just winning a challenge," PM Modi said at the prize distribution ceremony.
PM Modi, who was in Chennai on Monday, spoke at the IIT-Madras convocation ceremony. "Today, India is inspiring to become a 5 trillion dollar economy. Your innovation, aspiration and application of technology will fuel this dream. It become bedrock of India's big leap into the most competitive economy," he said.