Vardhan asks scientists to think a little out of box

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Kolkata, September 13: Union Minister Harsh Vardhan Thursday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set the vision to put India in the bracket of three top scientifically advanced nations by 2030.
To realise the dreams of the Prime Minister, “our scientific community should think a little out of box, keep doing research targeted for the benefit of people,” the Union Minister for Science and Technology said.
Vardhan said this after laying the foundation of Shyama Prasad Mookherjee Advanced Research & Training (SMART) centre of Indian Association for Cultivation of Science (IACS) here.
Vardhan, also the minister of Earth Sciences and Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said, “For the past four years under Modi’s leadership our scientific community have been working to solve the common day problems of people with their works,” and this is the area we should keep our focus on.
“We need to popularise science among the students and young generation,” he said and called upon everyone to realise the goal to put India among the bracket of three top scientifically advanced nations by 2030.
Vardhan said after Jai Jawan Jai Kishan, the present government has coined the ‘Jai Vigyan’ slogan to give due emphasis on science education and scientific research.
Referring to India’s progress in space research, he said, “We have made great strides in space research putting up 104 satellites in the orbit in 2017. We are launching Chandrayaan 2 mission to moon in 2019.”
The Union Minister said, India now occupied the third spot in nanotechnology in the world, while the country had witnessed 14 per cent growth rate in science publications against the global average of four per cent.
The tsunami in 2004 had caused havoc in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, but the country has now developed a robust tsunami warning system which put us among the top league among countries having advanced tsunami warning in the world, he said.
In oceanography research India was after US, UK and Japan, he said.
Vardhan said the present day scientists were availing the most modern instruments, equipment and laboratory unlike their illustrious predecessors “who had at times worked without amenities like ceiling fans.”
“Today’s young generations should know the situations the previous great scientists had worked under without much facilities,” he said.
Referring to the 143-year old IACS, Vardhan said, “Many illustrious names from C V Raman, Meghnad Saha, J C Bose had been associated with this premier institution.
He said the SMART campus, foundation stone of which was laid on Thursday, will be completed and dedicated to the service of nation by March 31, 2020.
“This new building will be the foundation of the new emerging India,” he said.
Director of IACS Santanu Bhattacharya said in his address, “apart from fundamental researches in the various frontier areas of physics and chemistry, the 143-year old institution has ventured into the emerging multidisciplinary areas such as non-conventional energy sources, advanced and novel nano-materials and interdisciplinary biological sciences.
He said from this year IACS has been conferred a deemed university status under de novo category.
De novo institution means an institution involved in innovations in teaching and research in unique and emerging areas of knowledge. (PTI)