Jitendra Singh takes charge of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences ministries

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New Delhi, Jul 8 (PTI) Jitendra Singh took charge as the new Union Minister of Science and Technology as well as of Earth Sciences on Thursday.

Singh was on Wednesday allocated two new portfolios -- the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Earth Sciences --with independent charge after a Union cabinet reshuffle.

A presentation on COVID-19 mitigation initiatives was made by Director General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Shekhar Mande on the occasion.

Mande said since the early days of the pandemic, the CSIR has worked with focused strategy to deliver various interventions and products towards mitigation of COVID-19 in the country which fall broadly into five verticals: Diagnostics; Surveillance; Drugs and Vaccines; Devices and PPEs and Supply Chain and Logistics. In the area of diagnostics, the CSIR has developed a novel diagnostic called FELUDA.

Earlier in the day, Singh took charge of the Ministry of Science and Technology at the Anusandhan Bhavan. Later, he also took charge as the Earth Sciences minister at the Prithvi Bhavan.

'Assumed charge as Minister of State (Ind Charge) Science & Technology. Along with eminent scientific fraternity, it shall be my endeavour to realise PM Sh @NarendraModi's goal of raising India's scientific capabilities to new heights & also apply these to bring ease of living,' Singh tweeted after taking over as the Minister of S&T.

The S&T comprises three departments: the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology and CSIR.

Singh underscored the crucial importance of the Ministry of Earth Sciences in informing the masses on different aspects, especially weather forecast.

He said the Ministry of Earth Sciences is extending crucial assistance to farmers across the country through scientific analysis of data and forecast. He pointed out that the unique weather forecast technology developed and being used by India at present is appreciated the world over and replicated by many countries.

'Assumed charge of the second Ministry of Earth Sciences as Minister of State (Ind Charge). Our common goal under PM Sh @NarendraModi should be to explore Earth Science techniques for supplementing Agricultural activities and to prepare a roadmap for Blue economy,' Singh tweeted.

Later, the minister held a brief interaction with the senior officers of the ministry and urged them to give further fillip to scientific activities that immensely benefit the common man, especially farmers.

The two ministries are not new to Singh. He had held these two portfolios for a brief period in 2014 in the first term of the Narendra Modi government.

Singh, who is a Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, also holds charge of the sensitive Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space. He is also an MoS in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

In a major Union Cabinet makeover, Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday dropped 12 ministers and brought 36 new members to his government.

Apart from 15 cabinet ministers, 28 Ministers of State, comprising new faces and those elevated, were sworn in a ceremony which was held in the Darbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. PTI PR CK

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