Scientific innovation should be harnessed to needs for conservation: Manmohan Singh

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Wednesday said scientific innovation should be harnessed to the needs for conservation, adding that it is time that the new generation of Indian scientists take on the responsibility of thinking about the future of Indian science.

“I sincerely believe that we need to make a break with the past. We need to create new systems, new structures and new ways of doing things that not just encourage individual excellence but also harness it effectively into socially productive multiplier outputs,” said Dr Singh, after giving away the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar prize for exceptional contribution in the field of Science at a ceremony here today.

“This is a major challenge before our government but more particularly before our scientific community. We need to think boldly about how to go forward. If the leaders of the scientific community can build a consensus on what needs to be done and what the new rules of the game should be, it will be a powerful impetus for the government to act,” he added.

Dr Singh said the Government of India has declared the present decade to be the ‘Decade of Innovation’.

“Our government has set up a National Innovation Council to help evolve a road map for the future. The Council will develop an Indian model of innovations that will go beyond formal R and D based systems. It will focus on creating an appropriate ecosystem conducive to fostering innovation across diverse sectors of our economy,” said Dr Singh.

“It will use enabling technologies to develop not only new products, new processes and new services but also improve existing production and delivery systems. The Council will identify policy changes that may be required to spur and promote the cause of innovation,” he added.

The Prime Minister further said educational institutions like the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research have to play a catalytic role in this area.

“Our government is establishing an Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research, which will use the infrastructure of the CSIR to impart cutting edge research training in frontier areas of science and engineering that are not ordinarily taught elsewhere. If we are to give meaning to our search for new frontiers in Indian Science, then a much larger participation of the private sector is also essential,” said Dr Singh.

“We have to leverage the private sector’s strengths by creating high impact collaborations. Let private enterprise partner public S and T institutions in their translation and transformational efforts. Let them join hands with our public institutions in creating new manufacturing strategies for both strategic and non-strategic applications. Let there be publicly owned and privately operated world-class R and D facilities,” he added.

The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prizes are awarded to scientists who are below the age of 45.

“The awards recognise not just the excellence of the work already done by the scientists but the promise they hold for greater achievement in years to come,” he added. (ANI)

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