Science policymakers stress importance of attracting youth towards science

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New Delhi, Dec 24 (PTI) Science policymakers underscored the importance of attracting the youth towards science and cultivating an innovative spirit from a very young age to develop scientific temper, the Ministry of Science and Technology said on Thursday.

'The biggest challenge is to attract the youth into science from an early age for optimal use of India's talent for the progress of the country,” Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Shekhar Mande said.

He appeared on a DD News programme to discuss the role of science, technology and innovation and the way forward.

The discussion was organised after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address on using science, technology and innovation for the progress and development of the country at the inauguration of the sixth edition of India International Science Festival (IISF 2020).

The four-day IISF, which started on December 22, is currently underway.

'We have a rich tradition of science and technology in the country. Our achievements in this field are unprecedented, and it has played a crucial role to take us to where we are today,' Mande said.

He emphasised that event-based teaching and learning promoted in the New Education Policy would help attract young minds into science and technology and develop scientific temper.

'We need to spread science and technology in local languages to attract a large number of people and provide the population in the villages with equal opportunities to participate in science, technology, and innovation,' he added.

'We do not lack talent, and COVID-19 is a big example of how we escalated efforts to start producing various medical equipment and even went on to export them,' he said.

Adviser to the Department of Science and Technology (DST) Akhilesh Gupta explained that starting innovation early would help in developing scientific temper and quality research. 'Education starts early, but innovation starts very late. This needs to change,” Gupta said.

A Biodiversity Conclave was also organised as part of the IISF 2020.

The event showcased the rich biodiversity of India at ecosystem, species and genetic levels, the long tradition of bio-diversity conservation by traditional communities, and the country's efforts towards mapping the distribution of biodiversity and conservation of critical ecosystems and threatened species.

The Biodiversity Conclave was inaugurated by National Green Tribunal chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel, the statement added. PTI PR SMN SMN