Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday added ' Jai Anusandhan (research)' to the slogan of 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan', calling it a slogan for new India, while imploring scientists to formulate an action plan to boost research in colleges and state universities. He urged Indian scientists to focus on agriculture, particularly drought, cyclones and farmers with small land holdings.
Modi was delivering the inaugural address at the 106th session of the Indian Science Congress at the Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Phagwara. The PM said that research was the only way to make India a world leader.
"Our ancient wisdom was based on research. Indian scholars worked on subjects from science to mathematics, art to literature, linguistics to philosophy and enlightened the world. The need is to reclaim that place of India in the world. That is possible if we become one among the three biggest economies in the world by showing the path to the world with our research," the PM said.
He said it was important for scientists to develop a problem-solving approach. "Our Scientists must commit themselves to addressing problems of affordable healthcare, housing, clean air, water and energy, agricultural productivity and food processing. While science is universal, technology must be local for providing solutions relevant to local needs and conditions," the Prime Minister said.
He stressed on using big data analysis, artificial intelligence, and other new technologies in the agricultural sector, particularly to help the farmers with relatively small farm-holdings.
Calling for time-bound solutions to peoples' problems through research, Modi mentioned the need to develop early disaster warning systems,
tackling diseases among children such as encephalitis, cyber security, clean energy and clean drinking water.
Touching upon the theme for this year's event, - 'Future India: Science and Technology' - the Prime Minister said that India's true strength will be in connecting its science, technology and innovation, with its people.
"The life and works of hundreds of Indian scientists are a compelling testament of integration of deep fundamental insights with technology development and nation-building. It is through our modern temples of science that India is transforming its present and working to secure its future," the Prime Minister said.
Recalling former PMs Lal Bahadur Shastri and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he said: "Shastri ji gave us the slogan 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan', while Atal ji added 'Jai Vigyan' to it. \I would like to add 'Jai Anusandhan' to it. 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan and Jai Anusandhan' is a slogan for new India."
The PM reached the venue an hour behind schedule and mentioned dense fog as reason behind the delay.
Modi said 2018 was a good year for Indian science as he highlighted its achievements which included production of aviation grade biofuel, Divya Nayan - a machine for visually impaired, inexpensive devices for diagnosis of cervical cancer, TB, dengue and a real-time landslide warning system in the Sikkim-Darjeeling region.
Speaking about achievements in the space sector, he mentioned the success of Cartosat-2 and other satellites. He said preparations are underway for sending three Indians into space through the Gaganyaan in 2022.
He said that the 'Prime Minister's Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council' will help formulate appropriate Science and Technology interventions, catalyse collaborations across stakeholder ministries and implement multi-stakeholder policy initiatives.
He said the life and works of Indian scientists are a compelling testament of integration of deep fundamental insights with technology development and nation building.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Science & Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan asked scientists to work in the field of stubble management. He urged the scientific community to focus on ensuring that we are able to use our scientific knowledge for transforming the life of the poorest of the poor, to create cheap technologies for rural areas, and solving issues pertaining to water pollution, providing new vaccines, drugs and innovate in the area of clean energy.
Following his inaugural address, Prime Minister Modi interacted with three Nobel laureates Prof Thomas Sudoph, Prof Avram Hershko & Prof Duncan Haldane over tea. PM was supposed have a 'Chai pe Charcha' but it was the interaction was brief due to his delayed schedule.
During the four-day Science Congress, events to be held include Women's Science Congress, Children Science Congress, and Science Exhibition showing various scientific innovations. About 20000 delegates from nearly 60 countries are participating in this mega Science Congress.
Congress workers rounded up
Around 40 Congress workers were rounded up when they held a demonstration in front of the LPU gate against the PM under the leadership of Punjab Congress Vice President Himanshu Pathak. They reached outside the gate of the university on National Highway in cars and immediately after alighting started raising slogans with placard in their hands.
Police officials who were there immediately rounded them up and then they were taken to Paragpur police chowki and then to Jandiala police station where they were kept for a couple of hours till 3:30 pm. They were raising slogans on Rafale deal and also carrying fake cheques of Rs 15 lakh. "We were protesting democratically and they violated our democratic right," said Pathak.
Two Nobel laureates meet PM Modi, praise him
Phagwara: Unlike US President Donald Trump, the Indian Prime Minister understands the importance of science for the development of a country and has a vision for its promotion in India, said two Nobel laureates who held a brief informal meeting with the PM on the sidelines of 106th Indian Science Congress at Lovely Professional University.
Israeli biochemist Avram Hershko, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2004, said, "Unlike US president Donald Trump, who thinks science and research is waste of money, Modi does not think that way…" he said.
German-American Thomas C Sudhof, who was given the Nobel Prize in 2013 in physiology and medicine, said that the Trump government in the US is not spending enough to promote science and research, whereas Modi's approach in this regard looks promising. -ENS