Redefine ‘R&D’ as 'Research for Development' of nation, says PM Modi

Technology will allow far greater penetration of services, said PM Modi at the inaugural address of the Indian Science Congress in Imphal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the time is ripe to redefine ‘R&D’ as 'Research for Development' of nation. He was speaking at the inauguration of the 105th Session of Indian Science Congress in Manipur University, Imphal.

The Prime Minister said that the government was committed to increasing share of non-fossil fuel based capacity in electricity mix above 40% by 2030. He added that technology will allow far greater penetration of services such as education, health care and banking to citizens.

Here are the key excerpts from the speech:

11.10 a.m.

Technology vital for penetration of services

We have to be future ready in implementing technologies vital for the growth and prosperity of the nation, says the Prime Minister.

Technology will allow far greater penetration of services such as health and nutrition, education, agriculture, water resources, basic infrastructure for innovative solutions. Again our scientific institutions help in this great service to Mother India, he adds.

As he concluded his address, the PM called upon the scientific community to extend their research from the labs to the land. "We are embarking on a road to a better future," he said.

11.05 a.m.

We need science to make India clean and green: PM Modi

Referring to the need to channel science to solve India's socio-economic challenges, Mr. Modi said that the recently approved Prime Minister's Research Fellow Scheme will help address brain-drain from the country.

"I have talked about developing city-based R&D clusters to bring together science and technology," he said. "Under this, bright minds from the best Institutions in the country, like IISc,IIT,NIT, IISER & IIIT will be offered direct admission in Ph.D in IIT & IISc."

He went on - India faces major socio-economic challenges which affects us. We need science to make India clean and green. The country requires crores of new houses. 3D printing technology could meet this demand. Our rivers are polluted. We need a multi-pronged approach, clean cooking, conversion of fuels, smart grids, micro grids and bio-fuels. We've set a target of 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022. Imagine our resources we will be saving with solar powered devices. Research should also be conducted in yoga, sports and traditional knowledge.

11.00 a.m.

Our scientific achievements need to be communicated to society, said the Prime Minister.

Are we giving our children a conducive environment to inculcate scientific temper? I call upon scientists for interaction with school going children. I urge scientists to spend 100 hours every year with 100 students of classes 10 to 12th, discussing various aspects of science and technology.

We are committed to increasing the share of non-fossil fuel based capacity in the electricity mix above 40% by 2030. India is a leader in the multi-country Solar Alliance and in Mission Innovation. These groupings are providing a thrust to R&D for clean energy.

Our Government has already given the go-ahead to establish 3rd LIGO detector in the country. It will expand our knowledge in basic sciences in the areas of lasers, light waves & computing. I am told that our scientists are tirelessly working towards making this a reality.

10.50 a.m.

The time is ripe to redefine ‘R&D’ as ‘Research’ for the ‘Development’ of the nation, said Mr. Modi. Science is, after all, but a means to a far greater end; of making a difference in the lives of others, of furthering human progress and welfare, he added.

He went on to list the health-related projects that have been set up in the region:

An 'Ethno-Medicinal Research Centre' has been set up in Manipur to undertake research on the wild herbs available in the North-East region, which have unique medicinal and aromatic properties. State Climate Change Centres have been set up in 7 North-Eastern States.

I urge them to take up new challenges for the poor and deprived sections of the society. The theme this year is quite appropriate: Reaching the unreached, through science and technology. The theme is very close to my heart.

10.45 a.m.

Prime Minister Modi began his inaugural address by paying tribute to cosmologist Stephen Hawking who passed away on March 14.

Prof. Hawking was a friend of India and had visited the country twice, said Mr. Modi.

"The common man knows the theoretical physicist not because of his work, but because of his unusually high commitment and spirit against all odds. He will be remembered as one of the world's greatest motivators," added the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister went on to say that he was pleased that the Congress is hosted in Manipur. "I am told that this is just the second time in over a century, that the Indian Science Congress is held in the north-east. This is a testimony to the resurgent spirit of the North East. Science had been synonymous with progress and prosperity," he said.

10.30 a.m.

The 106-year-old ISC was earlier scheduled to be held at the Osmania University in Hyderabad in the first week of January. Since the days of Jawaharlal Nehru, this largest congregation of scientists in India was traditionally the first public function the Prime Minister addressed in the calendar year. 

But in a first, the event was postponed and shifted to the current venue due to “security problems.” 

Usually attended by  foreign delegates and Nobel Laureates, this year's Congress will see an audience that is half as strong. Officials associated with exercise said that school students and teachers — a sizeable portion of the attendees — couldn’t make it because of ongoing examinations.

Read more
 

10.10 a.m.

Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla and Chief Minister N. Biren Singh welcomes the Prime Minister at the airport.

 

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 3:34:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pm-narendra-modi-inaugurates-indian-science-congress-in-manipur/article23268339.ece

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