Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation

Salient points of PM Narendra Modi’s speech at Indian Science Congress

I have been told that India has climbed to third position globally in the number of peer reviewed science and engineering publications. It is also growing at a rate of about 10% compared to around 4% global average.

I am also happy to learn that India’s ranking has improved in the Innovation Index to 52. Our programs have created more technology business incubators in the last five years than in the previous 50 years! I congratulate our scientists for these accomplishments.

My motto for the young scientists bourgeoning in this country has been -“Innovate, Patent, Produce and Prosper”. These four steps will lead our country towards faster development.

If we innovate, we will patent and that in turn will make our production smoother and when we take these products to the people of our country, they will prosper. Innovation for the people and by the people is the direction of our ‘New India’.

We are continuing our efforts to ensure the ‘Ease of doing Science’, and effectively using Information Technologies to reduce red tape.

Today, farmers are able to sell their products directly to the market without being at the mercy of the middlemen. Digitalisation, E-commerce, internet banking and mobile banking services are assisting rural populations significantly.

Today, farmers are getting the required information about the weather and forecasts at their fingertips through many e-governance initiatives.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” To promote well-being, we should not only practice some of the tested traditional wisdom, but also continuously enlarge its scope by introducing the modern tools and concepts of contemporary biomedical research.

India must also develop a long term roadmap for sustainable and environment friendly transportation and energy storage options. The latter becomes increasingly significant for grid management as we expand our renewal energy supply.

These require developing new battery types which are based on earth abundant, environmentally benign materials which are not monopolistic, are affordable on 100s of giga watt scales, and suitable for tropical climates.

The economic and social benefits of accurate weather and climate forecasting are immense. There have been considerable improvements in weather forecast and warning services especially in case of Tropical cyclones. This is evident from large reduction in casualties.

Our successes in space exploration should now be mirrored in the new frontier of the deep sea. We need to explore, map and responsibly harness the vast oceanic resources of water, energy, food and minerals.

This requires developing deep strengths in manned submersibles, deep sea mining systems and autonomous underwater vehicles. This, I hope will be made possible by a ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ being formulated by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.