Nagpur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday outlined the vision for science for the next 25 years, urging researchers to make the country self-reliant and focus on converting their knowledge to bring about change in everyday life.
Inaugurating the 108th Indian Science Congress here, Modi also stressed on strengthening scientific processes, focus on emerging areas such as quantum technologies, data sciences, development of new vaccines, stepping up efforts on surveillance for newer diseases and encouraging youngsters to take up research.
"Efforts of science can turn into great achievements only when they come out of the lab and reach the land, and their impact reaches from global to grassroots, when its ambit is from journal to zameen (land, everyday life) and when change is visible from research to real life," the Prime Minister said.
The five-day Indian Science Congress was inaugurated at the Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University here in the presence of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Jitendra Singh, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The Prime Minister made a strong pitch for creating an institutional framework and a mentor-mentee (guru-shishya) system that could build upon the successes of talent hunts and hackathons to attract youngsters to science.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the opportunities for private companies and startups by associating with research labs and academic institutions. He urged researchers to focus on quantum computing and emerge as world leaders in the upcoming field.
"India is moving fast in the direction of quantum computers, chemistry, communication, sensors, cryptography and new materials," Modi said as he urged young researchers and scientists to gain expertise in the quantum field and become leaders.
The Prime Minister urged researchers to include subjects such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality in their list of priorities and also come up with innovations in the field of semiconductors.
"India is taking several initiatives in the field of semiconductors. New innovations will be required in the field of semiconductors. Should we not think in the direction to make the country future ready in this field," Modi said. He cited India's growing energy needs and urged the scientific community to forge such innovations in the field as may benefit the country.
Since India is home to 17 to 18 per cent of the world's population, progress of such a large number of people will lead to a surge in global advancement as well, he said. India is using scientific means for progress and its consequences are visible, he said, noting that India jumped to 40th in the global innovation index from 81 in 2015 in a list of 130 countries.