The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the 107th Indian Science Congress (ISC) today at University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru.
Delivering the inaugural address, the Prime Minister said, “The growth story of India depends on its achievements in the Science & Technology sector. There is a need to revolutionise the landscape of Indian Science Technology and Innovation.”
“My motto for the young scientists bourgeoning in this country has been – “Innovate, Patent, Produce and Prosper”. He said these four steps will lead India towards a faster development. “Innovation for the people and by the people is direction of our ‘New India”, he added.
He said, “New India needs technology and also a logical temperament, so that we can give a new direction to our social and economic sectors”. He said science and technology provides a level playing field in making opportunities accessible to all and that it also plays a unifying role in the society.
Prime Minister said, “Now the developments in information and communication technology are able to provide cheaper smart phones & cheaper data and that has made it accessible to everyone in the country, where as it was seen as a privilege of the few earlier. This made the common man now believe that he is not distantly separated from the Government. Now he can directly connect with the Government and make his voice heard”
Prime Minister exhorted the young scientists to work in the field of rural development where there are several opportunities for cheaper and better innovations.
Referring to the theme of 107th ISC – “Science and Technology: Rural Development”, the Prime Minister said that it is only due to Science & Technology, that Government Programmes have reached the needy.
He highlighted that India now stands at 3rd position globally, in the number of Peer-reviewed Science and Engineering Publications. “I have been told that India has climbed to third position globally in the number of peer reviewed science and engineering publications. It is also growing at a rate of about 10% as compared to global average of 4%”, he said.
He also mentioned about Improvement in India’s ranking at Innovation Index to 52. He highlighted that Government programmes have created more incubators in the last 5 years than in previous 50 years.
Prime Minister said Technology is being harnessed at a large scale to achieve the objective of Good Governance. “Yesterday our Government was able to release to 6 crore beneficiaries the instalment under the PM-KISAN programme. This was possible only due the Aadhaar enabled technology”, he said. Similarly he said that it was technology which helped in building toilets and providing electricity to the poor. He said that owing to the technology of Geo Tagging and Data Science, many of the projects in rural and urban areas could be timely completed.
Prime Minister said, “We are continuing our efforts to ensure the ‘Ease of doing Science’ and effectively using information technology to reduce red tape”.
He emphasized that Digitalisation, E Commerce, Internet Banking and Mobile Banking services are assisting rural population significantly. He said Technology can be harnessed for several rural development initiatives, particularly in the area of cost effective Agriculture and Farm to Consumer supply chain network.
He urged everyone to find technological solutions for – stalk burning, maintenance of Ground water tables, prevention of communicable diseases, environment friendly transportation etc. He emphasized that Science and technology has a major role in contributing towards making India a $5 Trillion Economy.
The Prime Minister launched the Indian Scientific, Technology and Engineering facilities Map (I-STEM) Portal on this occasion.
The Union Minister for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan highlighted that as per a recent National Science Foundation (USA) Report, India has already climbed to the third spot in the number of science and engineering publications and that Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advance Scientific Research (JNCASR) in Bangalore has scored the 7th position in the quality of research by Nature Index.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan also emphasized that several schemes have been worked out for enhancing the quality of research, empowering young women students and scientists, technology development, creation of an end-to-end startup ecosystem, bringing the best of global science to India, linking of academia-research labs-industry-society, sharing of scientific resources and science communication.
He pointed out that our innovation ecosystem in the last five years has doubled from the previous fifty years and that the Scientific Social Responsibility Policy has been formulated to reach out to the widest-spectrum of stakeholders of S&T with knowledge, human resources and infrastructure.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan elaborated that missions have been initiated in the disruptive technologies such as Cyber-Physical Systems, deep-ocean exploration; quantum systems, energy storage and gene editing which are creating unprecedented opportunities for our young and dynamic scientists to work on securing the future. At the same time traditional knowledge systems in areas such as health and well-being, water conservation, environmental management and sources of local livelihood have been strengthened.
He stressed that our scientists will make this decade a Vigyan se Vikas ka Dashak for a rapid, inclusive and sustainable socio-economic growth—to aid the Hon’ble PM’s vision of five trillion dollar economy by 2024-25.
The Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri B.S. Yediyurappa highlighted the importance of agricultural technology in rural development.
The Science Congress which will continue till January 07, 2020 consists of 28 Plenary Sessions on areas ranging from Climate Smart Agriculture for Food Security, Crop Improvement Towards Food & Nutrition Security, Materials Science And Technology For Rural Development, Challenges and Opportunities In Cancer Drug Discovery, Artificial Intelligence And Medical Technology, Advances In Basic Medical And Clinical Interactions, Non-Communicable Diseases In Rural Population as well as Cancer Research – Therapeutic Applications. The areas also include Nano Materials for Energy, Environment and Health Care, Novel Solutions for Oil and Gas Industry Problems and so on in which senior scientists and officials will discuss on the status, challenges, opportunities and scope in these research areas.
The Nobel Laureates who are participating in this Indian Science Congress include German physicist Professor Stefan Hell who is one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany and Professor Ada E. Yonath from Israel.
Apart from this, several senior Scientists from India and abroad along with several government officials are participating in this event to exchange their views on a range of scientific issues, both at the national and international level.