Scientific research must be, at the end, relevant to society and translating it to improve lives of the people is key, said Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu.
“Every scientist should strive to excel and innovate to improve the lives of people. In other words, scientists should come up with out-of-the-box solutions to address various challenges faced by mankind from climate change to agriculture to health and medicine, among others,” he said.
He was addressing scientists and students at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) after unveiling the foundation stone for Innovation and Development Centre coming up at the Arkavathi Campus of the institute. The IDC will be a facility where laboratory inventions will be taken forward for scale up and technology transfer, said JNCASR in a statement.
Mr. Naidu lauded steps initiated by JNCASR to promote few start-ups on indigenous activities in line with the ‘Make in India’ programme.
“I am glad to note that this institution has generated over 300 patents and promoted establishment of a few startups based on indigenous inventions. I am also happy to note that the IDC would promote incubations and translational research, and would host startup companies initiated with in-house inventions,” he said.
Mr. Naidu suggested scientists undertake research in new emerging areas of science like synthetic biology, computational biology, high performance engineering materials, and artificial intelligence. However, he was quick to add that it was the need of the hour to bring cutting-edge science and the solutions it offered to agriculture that he termed “the basic culture of our country” and appealed to the scientific community to focus on addressing problems faced by the farming community.
“Science is the backbone for the progress and technological advancement of any country. India is uniquely blessed with a huge demographic dividend with a young population. The need of the hour is to inculcate scientific temper from a young age and promote world-class scientific research that addresses societal problems,” Mr. Naidu said.
The National Education Policy 2020 will ensure that students have access to new teaching and learning strategies across all segments. This will create the right educational ecosystem and enrich their knowledge base as also honing their skill sets, he opined. "A number of new IITs, IIMs, Central Universities and Skill Development Centres have come up across the length and breadth of the country in the last few years to achieve this objective. I understand that the Government of India proposes to set up a National Science & Technology Research University bringing the Department of Science and Technology’s R&D institutes under its umbrella,” he added.
‘Focus on lake revival’
Mr. Naidu advised Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to focus on protecting and rejuvenating the city’s lakes. “Bengaluru is a city blessed with hundreds of lakes. But it is getting degenerated because of people’s carelessness. Many lakes are encroached and there is a lack of timely action. I hope the new Chief Minister focuses on protecting and rejuvenating water bodies in around the city,” he said.
The issue was raised by G. U. Kulkarni, president, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, who appealed to Mr. Bommai to protect water bodies around the JNCASR campus. Mr. Naidu seconded it and advised the CM to focus on the issue.