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Modi gives ‘five Es’ mantra to scientists

Pitching for more research on sustainable energy sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday told scientists that their work should be focused on the ‘five-Es’: Economy, environment, energy, empathy and equity.

He was delivering his presidential address during the inaugural session of the 103rd Indian Science Congress (ISC) at the amphitheatre on the premises of Manasagangothri, University of Mysore, which is also celebrating its centenary. Modi said scientific research would be made easier and science administration will be improved in the country.

He said the impact of science would be the most when scientists and technologists keep the principles of “Five Es” at the centre of their enquiry and engineering.

“Economy” related to finding cost-effective and efficient solutions; “Environment” to keep the carbon footprint at the lightest and the impact on the ecology the least possible; “Energy”– when our prosperity relies less on energy and the energy we use keeps our skies blue and our Earth green; “Empathy”– when our efforts are in tune with our culture, circumstances and social challenges; “Equity”– when science advances inclusive development and improves the welfare of the weakest,” he said.

The prime minister said good governance was not just about policy and decision making, transparency and accountability but also about integrating science and technology into the choices to be made and the strategies to be pursued.

“We must make fossil fuels like coal cleaner and more efficient. We should tap newer sources of renewable energy like ocean waves and geothermal energy. At a time when energy sources that fuelled the industrial age have put our planet in peril, the developing world seeks to lift billions of people into prosperity. So, sun is the only hope,” he said.

About 500 eminent scientists and experts are attending the congress with the focal theme, “Science and Technology for Indigenous Development in India” in tune with Modi’s big push for ‘Make in India’ programme.

The prime minister released the “103rd ISC Plenary Proceedings” and “Technology Vision 2035” document. He also gave away the ISCA Awards for the year 2015-16 to scientists.

Stating that oceans were critical to India’s future, with over 1,300 islands, a 7,500 km coastline and 2.4 million square km of exclusive economic zone, he said there was a need to look beyond fisheries.

“A sustainable future will depend not only on what we do on land, but also how we treat our oceans. Oceans occupy more than 70 per cent of our planet. Over 40 per cent of humanity and 60 per cent of the world’s largest cities are found within 100 km of the coast.

We are at the cusp of a new era, where oceans will become important drivers of our economies. Their sustainable use can bring prosperity and, give us clean energy,” he pointed out. “Last year, we increased our focus on ocean.

We will set up an advanced centre of research in marine biology and biotechnology and establish a network of coastal and island research stations in India and abroad. We have entered into agreements on marine science and ocean economy with several countries,” he said.