The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today met 30 eminent scientists from various top institutions across the country. In the course of the interaction which lasted for over two and half hours, several scientists made brief presentations on the progress made by India in different fields of science.
The Prime Minister appreciated the work done by the scientists. He called upon the scientific community to work towards solving the problems faced by India, including in the emerging critical areas of energy and water.
Describing the task of cleaning up the rivers, including the Ganga, as a “scientific project,” the Prime Minister said it was a challenge to Indian scientists to come up with innovative solutions to achieve this goal.
In the area of healthcare, the Prime Minister said Indian science must address the unique healthcare needs and challenges that confront India. He mentioned the prevalence of malnutrition, and the disease of sickle-cell anaemia in certain tribal areas, as illustrations. He also called for overlapping traditional knowledge with modern systems. He said India must become self-reliant in medical equipment manufacturing.
Describing solar energy as the ultimate solution to India’s energy problems, the Prime Minister called upon Indian scientists to work towards developing more efficient equipment which could revolutionize the entire sector. He asked the Indian scientific community to come up with ideas and concepts for global leadership, in the context of the upcoming COP-21 climate conference in Paris.
Reiterating that while science is universal, technology must be local, the Prime Minister called for innovations in the agriculture sector that would lower wastage of agricultural produce, and eliminate entirely, India’s import of agricultural products. As an illustration, the Prime Minister mentioned that India produces most of the global production of castor seed, and yet other countries import raw castor seeds from India, to add huge value, and supply the resulting products globally.
On the administrative front, the Prime Minister said that Indian science seemed to be constrained by a silo-approach, which should be ended through greater coordination, and establishing a multi-disciplinary environment for research.
Minister of Science & Technology & Earth Sciences Dr. Harshvardhan; Vice Chiarman NITI Aayog Dr. Arvind Panagariya; Member NITI Aayog Shri V.K. Saraswat; Minister of State for Science & Technology & Earth Sciences Shri Y.S. Choudhary; and Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India Dr. R. Chidambaram were present at the interaction.