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AIR Brief: Prime Minister’s address at Indian Science Congress

 

 


AIR Brief: Prime Minister’s address at Indian Science Congress


Introduction

The 104th edition of Indian Science Congress was held recently at Tirupati. This year the theme of the congress is “Science and Technology for National Development”. Prime Minister addressed the issue of infrastructure and investment. He said that tomorrow’s experts will come from the investments we make today in our people and infrastructure. We need to keep an eye on the rise of disruptive technologies and be prepared to leverage them for growth. Today we have to be prepared for the speed of change, as Heraclitus said that “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change”.

Highlights of Prime Minister’s address

  • The focus was that the Science has to be for the people and the Aspirational India is looking towards science. India is the 6th largest in having scientific publications of research. We have a very strong scientific base. Science must bridge the gap urban India and the rural India.
  • Seeding the power of ideas and innovation in schoolchildren will broaden the base of our innovation pyramidand secure the future of our nation.
  • NITI Ayog is going to have a holistic vision document on science. There are predictions that by 2030 three countries will be on the top position and that will be US, China and India and India will be among the most attractive destinations for the best talent in the world. 
  • Disruptive technologies are harming not only India but all over. We equally need to keep an eye on the rise of disruptive technologies and be prepared to leverage them for growth. We need to clearly assess the challenges and opportunities for our technology readiness and competitiveness.
  • Girl child must be given opportunities especially in the field of Engineering and Medical Science because India has a duty towards girl child.
  • Prime Minister invited the NRI scholars to come and do their post doctoral research in India and focus on the key challenges India is facing which include water, energy, environment and health issues.
  • On the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility, the concept of Scientific Social Responsibility needs to be inculcatedto connect our leading institutions to all stakeholders, including schools and colleges. We must create an environment for sharing of ideas and resources.

Need of the Hour

  • The concern is that there is not enough governmental support to the scientific community. The budget has to be increased if we have to get into applied sciences and fundamental research.
  • One important area that needs to be addressed is the rapid global rise of Cyber-Physical Systems. This has the potential to pose unprecedented challenges and stresses to our demographic dividend. But we can turn it into a huge opportunity by research, training and skilling in robotics, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, and Internet-of-Things.
  • We need to keep up to the rapidity of the change taking place in this virtual world. So we need more R&D and global attention.

Conclusion

  • The Prime Minister’s talk can be summarised with the title “Think globally, act locally”. He spoke about the local problems and global standards. If we develop the start-ups they will take a quantum leap.
  • Today Indians are ruling the cyber world including the CEO of Microsoft. Such congresses are for the specialists to showcase and discuss what could be done. This is the platform where the government relates with the scientists, which is a positive platform. Let Science and Technology become a strong tool of inclusive development and betterment of the weakest and poorest segments of our society.