President Pranab Mukherjee today said science and technology must be made “more inclusive” and not just benefit “a select few” sectors. “Our pursuits in science and technology have to be more inclusive and encompassing, improving the lives of our vast population,” Mukherjee said while addressing an event to mark the 19th National Technology Day here. The President said that disparities between haves and have-nots, urban and rural areas, and exclusion or marginalisation of certain groups could give rise to social unrest. “It is crucial that more technological innovations are geared towards eliminating these disparities and differences. In our endeavour for global excellence, not even a single citizen should be left behind,” he said.
Emphasising that developments in science and technology should not be confined to a few areas, he called for “ground- breaking innovations” in key sectors such as energy, education, health care and agriculture. “While we applaud significant achievements, we must also contemplate whether the technological developments have been limited to only a few sectors,” he said. Underlining that “technology for sustainable and inclusive growth” was the need of the hour, he said innovators, technocrats, entrepreneurs and policymakers had an important role to play in this.
Mukherjee said progress and growth of the country would be sustainable only if development for all was the overarching goal. “In the wake of new demands of economic growth, it is necessary to embark on translating science and technology into developmental needs in all sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, health, communication and education,” he said. The President also advocated the use of technology to create stable employment opportunities, encourage entrepreneurship and build growth models that allowed for the inclusion of women and the disadvantaged.
“This will lead to the empowerment of citizens, which is the hallmark of a strong nation,” he said.
Mukherjee presented awards to scientists and others on the occasion at Vigyan Bhawan, where Union Ministers Harsh Vardhan and Y S Chowdary were also present.