Science

‘We want science and technology to be part of government’s priority more than ever,’ says NITI Aayog’s VK Paul

V.K. Paul, Member, NITI Aayog   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

The coronavirus pandemic has shown how important science solutions are for ‘life, livelihood and development’, and the NITI Aayog is making a strong case for increasing investments in science, its member VK Paul said on Monday.

He was delivering the first Prof. MK Bhan Memorial Lecture in a webinar. Bhan was the secretary, Department of Biotechnology.

Mr Paul said the think tank wants science and technology (S&T) to be the government’s priority “more than ever”.

He said the NITI Aayog has prepared a couple of policy briefs which are aimed at creating institutional pace, capacity and resource base.

“We are working with VijayRaghavan (Principal Scientific Advisor to the government) and my colleague (Vijay Kumar) Saraswat, member S&T... three of us, looking at pathways, above all creating institutional pace, capacity base and also resource base,” the official noted.

Mr Paul was responding to a question on what the NITI Aayog was doing to promote research and encourage young researchers.

“We are making a strong case to our leadership that investment in S&T should increase but then it should also increase in bioscience. It should also increase in sciences which are not getting as much budget as few others are getting,” he said.

“Certainly, it is on our agenda and as I said we have put the full might of the NITI system, the two of us as well as VijayRaghavan and we want to take it forward with full throttle in the time to come.

“We want S&T to be part of the government’s priority more than ever. This pandemic has made it very clear how important the science solutions are for our life, but also for our livelihood and development,” Mr Paul added.

Responding to another question on what can be done to create the next generation of strategist thinkers on whom the government and society can rely for directions, the NITI Aayog member said the key is to invest in young people.

“This can be done by giving them opportunities to work in interdisciplinary areas, showing them the list and a plethora of unsolved problems, and giving them laboratories and research methodology tools,” Mr Paul added.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 3:19:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/we-want-science-and-technology-to-be-part-of-governments-priority-more-than-ever-says-niti-aayogs-vk-paul/article33058231.ece

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