On January 3, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi inaugurated the Indian Science Congress (ISC) at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bengaluru. The Prime Minister said in his inaugural speech that India’s growth story depends on its achievements in the Science and Technology sector and reiterated the need to revolutionise the landscape of Indian Science Technology and Innovation.
PM Modi’s motto at the event was to “Innovate, Patent, Produce and Prosper” to the young scientists in the country, saying that these four steps will lead India towards faster development. He also stated innovation and development is the key to greater development of the future.
The five-day summit is expected to witness participation from several policymakers, scientists, academicians, inventors and politicians from across the world. Nobel laureates such as Stefan Hell and Ada Yonath are also expected to attend the congress and conduct lectures.
Key Feature of 107th Indian Science Congress
The Indian Science Congress this year has a special focus on rural development through science and technology. To boost innovation in agriculture Congress had includes a Farmers’ Science Congress. Other events include Children’s Science Congress, Women Science Congress, and former Vice-Chancellors’ Science Congress were also held.
The 107th Indian Science Congress aims to bridge the gap between farmer and tech-developers. Many of the innovations have helped in enhancing market access, crop productivity and diversifying rural livelihood profiles. However, the gap between the farmers and innovators has resulted in the only partial exploration of the benefits.
The 107th Indian Science Congress will provide a platform to the farmers who introduced innovations in agriculture.
I-STEM portal launch
While inaugurating the 107th Indian Science Congress, PM Modi also launched the Indian Science Technology and Engineering facilities Map (I-STEM) Portal. The portal has been designed to be the gateway for researchers to locate a specific type of facility they require to conduct their research and development work in India.
Science and technology’s contribution to developing Rural India-
- PM Modi highlighted that developments occurring in information and communication technology have led to the production of cheaper smartphones and the availability of cheaper data, which has made it accessible to everyone in the country. Earlier, smartphones and internet data were costly and hence were categorized as a privileged affair.
- PM Modi urged the young scientists in India to move to rural and provide support to rural development of the country, as there are several opportunities available for cheaper and better innovations.
- The Prime Minister highlighted that Science and Technology have played a significant role in helping the government programmes reach the needy. He stated that science and technology level the playing field by making opportunities accessible to all and it also plays a unifying role in society.
- The wider internet connectivity has narrowed the communication barrier and had further made the common man closer to the government and provided an opportunity for the common man to make his/her voice heard. The Prime Minister further said that the new India needs technology and logical temperament to give a new direction to the social and economic sectors.
India’s performance in the Science and Technology sector at a global stage-
- India’s growth rate in this sector is 10 percent in comparison to the global average of 4 percent.
- India currently stands at the 3rd position globally in the number of peer-reviewed science and engineering publications.
- India also ranked 52nd in the Innovation Index. The central government programmes have created more incubators in the last 5 years than in the previous 50 years.
Upgrading technology to enable economic growth-
- The Union Government objectives lie on good governance, especially in the area of cost-effective agriculture and farm to the consumer supply chain.
- PM Modi highlighted the role of geotagging, Aadhaar enabled technology and data science in the timely completion of several rural and urban projects.
- Technological solutions can be provided for issues such as stalk burning, groundwater management, prevention of communicable diseases and environment-friendly transportation.
- Some other aspects of development include the advent of e-commerce, the internet, and the mobile bank as a huge key player in rural development.
- PM Narendra Modi reiterated that Science and Technology and innovations in the sector will play a huge role in leading India’s towards its goal of achieving a $5 Trillion Economy.