File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Modi urges scientists to help India to make a mark in global arena

By Sunderarajan Padmanabhan/India Science Wire

New Delhi/Kolkata, November 5, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called upon the scientific community in the country to take up new challenges that would not only help find solutions to various problems facing the common man but also make a mark for India in the global arena.
Inaugurating the fifth edition of the India International Science Festival (IISF) being held at Kolkata via video conferencing from the capital, he said scientists could, for instance, take up challenges such as development of scalable and cost-effective replacements for plastic and improvement to the efficiency of power storage devices and solar cells.
Tracing the evolution of science and technology in the world, he noted that while earlier necessity was said to be the mother of invention, it was no more so. Inventions such as internet and artificial intelligence have opened up a new range of applications in a wide range of fields from health care to hospitality.
He urged scientists to not look for quick results. “Science is not like making noodles in two minutes or pizza in 30 minutes. Science should be done for long-term benefits and long-term solutions. Your work should be able to have its effect over centuries."
Referring to the recent lunar expedition Chandrayaan 2 in which there was a problem with the soft landing on the moon, he said “though the mission did not go as expected, it was still a success. It seems to have created a new wave of interest for science among the youth."
The Prime Minister said the government was constantly working to promote a strong ecosystem for science and technology in the country and noted that scientific temper had a special place in the country.
“Scientific temper has been given the status of a fundamental duty in the Constitution of our country. It is essential that we all promote it since it would help dispel superstition, promote rational thinking and creativity," he said.
He recalled the contributions made by scientists from West Bengal to global science and said it was heartening that the birth anniversary of Sir C. V. Raman fell on November 7, while the conference would be still on, and that of Jagdish Chandra Bose at the end of the month.
The prime objective of the festival, from November 5 to 8, is to showcase India’s contributions in the field of science and technology over the years and encourage the translation of its benefits to the common man, besides to promote scientific temper among the people of the country. It aims to build a strategy for inclusive advancement of research and development.
The Festival is an annual event organised jointly by the science and technology-related Ministries and Departments of the Government of India and Vijnana Bharati. It is being held since 2015. The theme for this year’s festival is `RISEN India – Research, Innovation, and Science Empowering the Nation”.
The programme, among other things, features science film festival, science literature festival, women scientists and entrepreneurs conclave, agricultural scientists’ meet, health research conclave, industry-academia conclave, national science teachers’ congress, and national start-up conclave.
Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organisation of the Department of Science and Technology, is the nodal agency to coordinate IISF 2019. 
(India Science Wire)

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