Science has done wonders, but there’s scope for doing more: PM Narendra Modi

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on January 04, 2020 Published on January 04, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and Union Minister Harsh Vardhan, at the inauguration of the 107 th Indian Science Congress , in Bengaluru on Friday   -  K_MURALI_KUMAR

Urges scientists to take up projects focussed on socio-economic development

Inaugurating the 107th Indian Science Congress here on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the scientific community to leverage the start-up culture and take up relevant socio-economic developmental projects. Efforts should also be made to improve efficiency in the industrial sector, he said.

Listing out the opportunities for start-ups, Modi said: “We are continuing our efforts to ensure the ‘Ease of doing science’ and effectively using information technology (IT) to reduce red tape.”

Farmer-centric solutions

Through IT applications, the farmers are now able to sell their products directly to the market without being at the mercy of middlemen, the PM said. “Digitalisation, e-commerce, internet banking and mobile banking services are assisting the rural population significantly. Today, farmers are getting the required information about the weather and forecasts at their fingertips through many e-governance initiatives,” he added.

But the task is far from over, Modi said. “Can we find farmer-centric solutions to the problem of stalk burning, for instance? Can we also re-design our brick kilns for reduced emissions and greater energy efficiency? We need to find better solutions to provide clean drinking water around the country. How do we prevent effluents and discharge from industries from ruining our soil and our groundwater tables for years to come?”

Focusing on health

Highlighting the government’s ‘Make in India’ push, Modi said: “Another important point I wish to make is bringing the fruits of advances in diagnostics and medical devices to people.” “To promote well-being, we should not only practise some of the tested traditional practices and wisdom, but also use modern tools and concepts of contemporary biomedical research. Our vision should be to protect people from the threats of dangerous communicable diseases like Nipah and Ebola. We must work overtime to fulfil the promise to eradicate tuberculosis by 2025,” he added.

On the development of long-term roadmap for sustainable transportation and energy storage options, Modi said: “We need to pay attention to grid management as we expand our renewable energy supply. These require developing new battery types which are based on environmentally benign materials which are not monopolistic, are affordable on 100s of giga watt scale, and suitable for tropical climates.”

Weather forecasting

The economic and social benefits of accurate weather and climate forecasting are immense and are clearly visible in India, Modi said. “There have been considerable improvements in weather forecast and warning services, especially in the case of tropical cyclones. This is evident from large reduction in casualties.”

He added: “Our successes in space exploration should now be mirrored in the new frontier of the deep sea. This, I hope, will be made possible by the ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ being formulated by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.”

Published on January 04, 2020
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