Nation grateful to scientists says PM Modi; urges for scientific social responsibility on lines of CSR

104th Indian Science Congress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that ‘nation will always be grateful to scientists who have worked tirelessly to empower our society by their vision, labour, and leadership’. PM said this while speaking at the inauguration of 104th Indian Science Congress at the Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati.

Prime Minister further said “In the last two sessions of the science congress, I presented before you several key challenges and opportunities for the nation.

Some of these important challenges are in the key sectors of clean water & energy, food, environment, climate, security, and healthcare. 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.”

He also stated that there is a need to develop and exploit these technologies in services and manufacturing sectors; in agriculture, water, energy & traffic management; health, environment, infrastructure and Geo Information Systems; security; financial systems and in combating crime. “The oceans that surround the Indian peninsula have over thirteen hundred of our islands. They also give us a seven and a half thousand kilometre coastline and 2.4 million square kilometres of Exclusive Economic Zone. They contain enormous opportunities in energy, food, medicine and a host of other natural resources. The ocean economy should be a significant dimension of our sustainable future”, he added.

On the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility, the concept of Scientific Social Responsibility needs to be inculcated to connect our leading institutions to all stakeholders, including schools and colleges. We must create an environment for sharing of ideas and resources. “The brightest and best in every corner of India should have the opportunity to excel in science. This will ensure that our youth get high-end training exposure to the best of science and technology to make them job-ready in a competitive world”, he said.

Laboratories, Research Institutions and Universities in each major city region, should be interlinked to function on a hub and spoke model. The hubs will share major infrastructure, drive our national science missions and be the engines that link discovery to application. “For a large and diverse country like India, technology needs to span a wide range; from advanced space, nuclear and defence technologies to rural development needs in providing clean water, sanitation, renewable energy, community health, etc.”

While we excel globally, we also need to develop local solutions that fit our unique context. There is a need to develop appropriate Micro-Industry models for the rural areas that use local resources and skills to meet the local needs and generate local enterprise and employment. For example, we should develop a host of technologies based on efficient co-generation for clusters of villages and semi-urban areas. These technologies should aim to convert agri and bio-waste to satisfy multiple needs of electricity, clean water, crop-processing and cold storage. For sustainable development, we must take strong measures to focus on Waste to Wealth Management in the critical areas of electronic waste, biomedical and plastic wastes, and solid waste and waste water solutions”, he stated.

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