PM Modi calls for a technology revolution for charting new growth
03 January 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for revolutionising science, technology and innovation the landscape of India, saying the growth story of India is intimately connected to its achievements in the science and technology sector. He said India has the potential and this has been proved many a time.
“Our programmes have created more technology business incubators in the last five years than in the previous 50 years! I congratulate our scientists for these accomplishments,” he said while inaugurating the Indian Science Congress in Bangalore.
He called upon the bourgeoning young scientists in the country to "Innovate, Patent, Produce and Prosper,” which, he said, will lead the country towards faster development. “If we innovate, we will patent and that in turn will make our production smoother and when we take these products to the people of our country, they will prosper. Innovation for the people and by the people is the direction of our ‘New India’,” he said.
India, he said, has climbed to third position globally in the number of peer reviewed science and engineering publications. It is also growing at a rate of about 10 per cent compared to around 4 per cent global average. India’s ranking has also improved in the Innovation Index to 52, he added.
The government, he said, is continuing its efforts to ensure the Ease of doing Business, by effectively using information technologies to reduce red tape. “Today, farmers are able to sell their products directly to the market without being at the mercy of the middlemen. Digitalisation, E-commerce, internet banking and mobile banking services are assisting rural populations significantly.”
Yet, he said, there is a need for a revolution in technologies assisting agricultural practices. We need to find farmer-centric solutions to the problem of stalk burning; we also need t redesign our brick kilns for reduced emissions and greater energy efficiency; better and faster solutions to the problem of clean drinking water supplies around the country; and to prevent effluents and discharge from industries from ruining our soil and our groundwater tables.
For promoting well-being, he said, we should not only practice some of the tested traditional wisdom, but also continuously enlarge its scope by introducing the modern tools and concepts of contemporary biomedical research.
There is also a lot to be done to protect people from the threats of dangerous communicable diseases like Nipah, Ebola, etc, he said, adding, there is also the need to fulfil the promise of eradicating tuberculosis by 2025.
Globally, India is the leader in the supply of vaccines and there is scope to develop India as a world-class, $100 billion bio-manufacturing hub by 2024. This will happen with right policy initiatives and support to innovative research, human resource development and entrepreneurial ecosystem, he said.
India, he said, must also develop a long term roadmap for sustainable and environment friendly transportation and energy storage options. The latter becomes increasingly significant for grid management as we expand our renewal energy supply. These require developing new battery types which are based on earth abundant, environmentally benign materials which are not monopolistic, are affordable on 100s of Giga watt scales, and suitable for tropical climates, he added.
Also, he said, the economic and social benefits of accurate weather and climate forecasting are immense. While much has been accomplished, especially in weather forecast and warning services in case of tropical cyclones, more can be done in these areas.
“We need to explore, map and responsibly harness the vast oceanic resources of water, energy, food and minerals. This requires developing deep strengths in manned submersibles, deep sea mining systems and autonomous underwater vehicles. This, I hope, will be made possible by a ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ being formulated by the ministry of earth sciences.
The prime minister called upon scientists to work on a “Science in Motion” – an ever evolving force - so as to achieve an unprecedented socio-economic development through relevant technologies, innovations, startups and industry.