Prime Minister Narendra Modi today pitched for using vernacular languages in promoting science communication in a “big way” to develop “love of science” among the youth, saying language should not be a barrier but a facilitator. The prime minister also said that every scientist and researcher of the country should direct innovation and research for a ‘New India’. Addressing the curtain-raiser ceremony of the commemoration of professor Satyendra Nath Bose’s 125th birth anniversary in Kolkata via video-conference, Modi said that scientists and researchers of the country should use their knowledge and research for the benefit of people and their socio-economic needs. Modi began his speech in Bengali, extending new year wishes to the people of the state. “To promote understanding and love of science among our youth, it is vital that we promote science communication in a big way. Language should not be a barrier but a facilitator in this task,” Modi said. He said it was important in today’s world that the final outcome of the innovation and research should be judged for their positive impact on the lives of the poor. “With their out of the box thinking, our scientists should give new direction in creative technology. Our innovations and final research outcome should be directed to help the common people,” the prime minister said. The Centre has started a research and development (R&D) project involving separate science organisations in solar power, green energy, water conservation and waste management sectors, he said.
Stating that the science and technology department was working on multi-pronged projects, Modi said the priority was to set up a scientific infrastructure mechanism, drawing reference to the Centre’s initiatives such as Start-up India and Skill Development Mission. Calling upon every scientist to mentor at least one child, Modi said, “In this way, one lakh students can be scientifically inclined.” “In 2017, all Indians had taken pledge to make a new India as visualised by our forefathers. We must devote all our energy and everyone involved should chip in for this. The year 2018 is poised to be a watershed year when every scientist should direct his innovation and research for building a new India,” he said. Pitching for a strong collaboration between academic and R&D institutions, Modi said that the success of such efforts will depend on bringing all these institutions and labs under one platform.
He said the Centre is setting up 20 institutes of eminence in the country and invited both private and public institutions in higher education sector to take part in the mission. Describing Indian scientists and technology experts as the “pride of nation”, Modi said, “When ISRO sends over 100 satellites to space, the entire world takes note.” He asked the scientific community to brace for new technology challenges. “We are waiting for new innovations in water, power, airport, roads, digital infrastructure. The government is on your side but any innovation should be followed by proper plan of action,” he said. Stating that Bengal’s “rich soil” had given birth to luminaries in different fields including science, with names such Acharya J C Bose, Meghnad Saha and S N Bose, Modi said that till date, people are being benefited by their commitment and creativity.
Born on January 1, 1894, physicist Bose is best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s. Bose discovered what is known as bosons and worked with Albert Einstein to define one of the two basic classes of subatomic particles. Modi said Bose had worked towards popularising science among the people and had launched a Bengali science magazine since he understood the importance of vernacular medium to popularise science. S N Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences Director Samit Roy, Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan were among those present at the programme at the institute.