Time to celebrate success of our scientists

At a time when India is on the verge of leading the fourth industrial revolution, the role of India’s science and people associated with this field is very important.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo | PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo | PTI)

At a time when India is on the verge of leading the fourth industrial revolution, the role of India’s science and people associated with this field is very important. In such a situation, the responsibility of the policy-makers and those of us who are associated with the governance and administration increases.

If we remember the early decades of the last century, we find how the world was going through a period of devastation and tragedy. But even at that time, scientists everywhere, whether in the East or the West, were engaged in significant discoveries. In the West, many such scientists like Einstein, Fermi, Max Planck, Niels Bohr and Tesla were surprising the world with their experiments.

In the same period, countless Indian scientists like C V Raman, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Satyendra Nath Bose, Meghnad Saha, S Chandrashekhar, among others, were coming forward with their new discoveries. All these scientists opened many avenues to improve the future. But a major difference between East and West was that we did not celebrate the work of our scientists as much as it should have been done. As a result, a sense of indifference developed in a large part of our society regarding science.

At every step, the scientists of our country are also giving us this opportunity through their discoveries. If India has been able to develop vaccines for corona and has been able to administer more than 200 crore vaccine doses, there is a huge potential of our scientists behind it.

I am happy that our government is moving ahead with the science-based development approach. Since 2014, there has been a substantial increase in investment in the field of science and technology. Due to the efforts of the government, India is ranked 46th in the Global Innovation Index today, whereas India was at 81 position in 2015. We have covered the distance from 81 to 46 in such a short time, but we do not have to stop here, we have to aim higher now.

Today a record number of patents are being granted in India and new innovations are taking place. Science, technology and innovation are in the DNA of today’s young generation. They adapt to technology very fast. We have to support this young generation with all our might. In today’s new India, new sectors are being opened up — Be it Space Mission, Deep Ocean Mission, National Super Computing Mission, Semiconductor Mission, Mission Hydrogen, Drone Technology. Special emphasis has also been laid in the new National Education Policy so that the education of science and technology can be made available to the students in their mother tongue.

We all have to work together on many fronts in this ‘Amrit Kaal’ to make India a global centre of research and innovation. We have to take our research related to science and technology to the local level. The need of the hour is that every state should focus on innovation to create local solutions according to their local problems.

Science also plays a big role in the circular economy, in recycling the waste products of our cities. To deal with every such challenge, it is necessary that every state should formulate and implement a modern policy related to science, innovation and technology.

The state governments should lay special emphasis on the creation of more and more scientific institutions and on the simplification of processes. The number of innovation labs should also be increased in the institutions of higher education in the states. Today is the era of hyper-specialization. International-level specialist laboratories are being established in the states. Our government is ready to help every state at the central level in this regard through the expertise of national institutions. Along with modern science labs in schools, we also have to step up the campaign to build Atal Tinkering Labs.

There are many national-level scientific institutes and laboratories in the states. The states should take full advantage of their ability and expertise. We also have to take our science-related institutions out of the state of silos. You should also increase the number of such programs in your states which take science and technology forward at the grassroots level.

Narendra Modi
Prime Minister

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The New Indian Express