'Last 5-yr innovation inroads greater than previous 50 yrs'

Harsh Vardhan

Bengaluru: Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan on Friday said the quantum of development India's innovation ecosystem has witnessed in the last five years, was equal to what was managed in 50 years till 2014.

"In terms of whatever we could develop as innovation ecosystem in the last 50 years till 2014, we could develop the same in the last five years itself," said Vardhan at the 107th Indian Science Congress in Bengaluru.

He praised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for facilitating such growth and called upon the scientific community to chip in to realise Modi's twin dreams of a new India by 2022 and a $5 trillion economy by 2025.

"Now I think it is our duty as scientists to strengthen the deep foundations of scientific research and science applications to ensure that we have a fast, rapid, sustainable and inclusive socio-economic growth in this country which is backed by our efforts," said Vardhan.

Addressing thousands of students, researchers, scientists and others at the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) in the city, venue for the science congress, the health minister said Jawaharlal Nehru Institute for Advanced Research Studies has been rated as the seventh best for quality fundamental research in the world.

According to the Vardhan, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) is at an advanced stage to develop a policy on how to fulfil Scientific Social Responsibility, a concept which Modi propounded in the 2015 science congress.

He said Cyber Physical Systems, deep ocean technologies, energy storage issues, quantum systems and also the latest issues like gene editing, Artificial Intelligence and others are some missions which have been outlined for the future.

Vardhan told the science congress participants to go back with renewed energy, zeal, enthusiasm and revisit India's dreams.

"We have to ensure that all of us now reach out to the widest spectrum of all the stakeholders in science. A young boy, whether it is a father, a small company or anyone who can contribute to science for the betterment of this country and the whole world," added Vardhan.

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