Prime Minister Narendra Modi lavished praise on Indian scientists for the indigenous development of Covid vaccines while inaugurating the first of its kind Centre-State Science conclave here on Saturday.
In his virtual address, the PM lauded India’s successful Covid immunisation programme as an epitome of scientific excellence.
“At a time when India is marching towards a fourth industrial revolution, responsibility of people connected with science, administration and policymakers has increased significantly ,” said PM Modi.
“Science is like that energy in the development of 21st century India, which has the power to accelerate the development of every region and the development of every state,” he stated, adding, “Science is the basis of solutions, evolution and innovation. And, it is with this inspiration, that today’s new India is moving forward with Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan as well as Jai Anusandhan.”
History, the PM said, was replete with lessons that could help both the Centre and the states. “If we recall, the world was going through a period of devastation and tragedy in the early decades of the last century. But even in that era, whether it was in the East or the West, scientists everywhere were engaged in great discoveries,” he stated.
“In the West, scientists like Einstein, Fermi, Max Planck, Niels Bohr, and Tesla were dazzling the world with their experiments. In the same period, many scientists including CV Raman, Jagdish Chandra Bose, Satyendranath Bose, Meghnad Saha and S Chandrashekhar were bringing their new discoveries to the fore in India,” the PM said. The only difference between the East and West was that “we were not giving due recognition to the work of our scientists,” he lamented.
“When we celebrate the achievements of our scientists, science becomes a part of our society, it becomes a part of the culture,” the PM said, exhorting every Indian to celebrate the achievements of the scientists.
The PM mentioned that the central government is working on science-based development projects and added that since 2014, there has been a substantial increase in investment in the field of science and technology.
“Today, owing to the efforts of the government, India is ranked 46th in the Global Innovation Index compared to 2015 when it was ranked 81,” Modi said. Stressing on giving wholehearted support to youngsters, the PM said that ‘ inclination for science, technology and innovation is in the DNA of our young generation and we should harness their energy in new sectors and missions” in the field of research and innovation including Space Mission, National Supercomputing Mission, semiconductor mission, Mission Hydrogen and drone technology.
Emphasising on taking science and technology-related research to the local level the PM said that states should promote research and innovation as per their local needs. He also asked every state to lay down modern policy regarding science, innovation and technology. “The coming 25 years are the most important years for India as it will determine the new identity and strength of the nation”, the PM suad. Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh remained present at the inaugural function of the conclave. The event was organised in line with the Prime Minister’s vision to facilitate innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.