Tirupati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today exhorted scientists to keep an eye on the rise of disruptive technologies even as he underlined government’s commitment to supporting different streams ranging from fundamental science to applied science with emphasis on innovations.
In his address at the inauguration of the 104th session of the Indian Science Congress, Modi listed “rapid global rise of Cyber-Physical Systems” as one important area that needed to be addressed, saying it has potential to pose unprecedented challenges and stresses on the demographic dividend.
“But we can turn it into a huge opportunity by research, training and skilling in robotics, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, big data analysis, deep learning, quantum communication and Internet-of-Things.
“There is a need to develop and exploit these technologies in services and manufacturing sectors; in agriculture, water, energy and traffic management, health, environment, security, infrastructure and Geo Information Systems, financial systems and in combating crime,” he said.
The speed and scale of changes encountered today are unprecedented, he said.
“My government is committed to supporting different streams of scientific knowledge; ranging from fundamental science to applied science with emphasis on innovations. Some of these important challenges are in the key sectors of clean water & energy, food, environment, climate, security, and health care,” he said.
Building a strong science and technology infrastructure that is accessible to academia, start-ups, industry and R&D labs is a priority of the government, he said, adding they need to address problems of ease of access, maintenance, redundancy and duplication of expensive equipments in scientific institutions.
“The desirability of establishing professionally managed, large regional centres in PPP mode housing high value scientific equipment should be examined,” he said.
Noting that SCOPUS database indicates that India ranks
sixth in the world with respect to scientific publications and is growing at a rate of about 14 per cent against the world average of about 4 per cent, Modi said by 2030 India will be among the top three countries in science and technology and will be among the most attractive destinations for the best talent in the world.
Scopus is a bibliographic database containing abstracts and citations for academic journal articles.
He asked institutions to consider inviting outstanding scientists from abroad including NRIs for long term research associations. “We should involve foreign and NRI PhD students in post-doctoral research in our projects,” he said.
Science must meet the rising aspirations of our people, he said, asserting that problems of urban-rural divide and work for inclusive development, economic growth and employment generation must be addressed through it.
Seeking to make science and technology a strong tool of inclusive development and betterment of the weakest and poorest segments of our society, he said ministries, scientists, R&D institutions, industries, start-ups, universities and IITs, all should work together seamlessly.
“In particular, our infrastructure and socio-economic ministries must make appropriate use of science and technology,” he said.