Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) is a premier scientific organisation of India with headquarters at Kolkata, West Bengal. ISCA is the initiative of two British Chemists, namely, Professor JL Simonsen and Professor PS Mac Mahon started in the year 1914. It meets annually in the first week of January. The first session of the Indian Science Congress was held in 1914. The previous edition of the ISC was held in Bengaluru in January 2020.
The 108th annual session of ISC is held at Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University from January 3-7, 2023 which is also celebrating its centenary this year.
On January 3, 2022, Prime Miniter Narendra Modi addressed the 108th Indian Science Congress (ISC) via video conferencing. The focal theme of this year’s ISC is “Science and Technology for Sustainable Development with Women Empowerment” which will witness discussions on issues of sustainable development, women empowerment and the role of science & technology in achieving this.
Here are the highlights of What the Prime Minister said at the 108th annual Indian Science Congress:
1. Prime Minister Modi highlighted the role of India’s scientific strength in India’s story of development over the next 25 years. PM added, “When the spirit of national service gets infused in Science along with passion, results are unprecedented. I am sure, India’s scientific community will ensure a place for our country of which it was always deserving.”
2. Highlighting the abundant availability of data and technology in 21st-century India, PM added that it has the potential to take Indian Science to new heights. He also informed that the field of data analysis is moving forward at a meteoric pace which is of great help in converting information into insight and analysis into actionable knowledge. “Be it traditional knowledge or modern technology, each one plays a crucial role in scientific discovery”, the Prime Minister remarked. He also emphasised the need to strengthen the scientific processes by applying various techniques of research-led development.
3. Prime Minister said that India is being counted among the top countries of the world as India moved to 40th place in the Global Innovation Index in 2022 from 81st place in 2015. India is among the top three nations in the world in terms of the number of PhDs and startup ecosystems.
4. PM also stressed that “Our thinking is not just that we should empower women via science but also empowering science by the contribution of women.”
5. PM said In the last 8 years, India has taken up extraordinary tasks ranging from governance to society to economy which is being discussed all over the world today. “The increasing participation of women is proof that women and science are both progressing in the nation”, PM Modi said.
6. Talking about the scientists’ challenge of turning knowledge into actionable and helpful products the Prime Minister said, “Efforts of science can turn into great achievements only when they come out of the lab and reach the land, and their impact reaches from global to grassroots, when its ambit is from journal to jameen (land, everyday life) and when change is visible from research to real life.”
7. Prime Minister remarked that fulfilling India’s requirements should be the root of all inspiration for the entire scientific community. “Science in India should make the country Atmanirbhar, the Prime Minister remarked as he noted that 17-18 per cent of the human population resides in India and such scientific developments should benefit the entire population. He emphasised the need to work on subjects that are of importance to the entire humanity.
8. Prime Minister noted that it is a matter of pride for every citizen that on India’s call, the United Nations has declared the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
9. “India is moving fast in the direction of quantum computers, chemistry, communication, sensors, cryptography and new materials”, the Prime Minister said as he urged young researchers and scientists to gain expertise in the quantum field and become leaders.
10. PM Modi stressed the need to focus on futuristic ideas and areas where no work is happening anywhere. He asked for keeping AI, AR and VR as priorities. He exhorted the scientific community to come up with innovations in semiconductor chips and asked them to think about keeping the semiconductor push future ready from now on. “If the country takes initiative in these areas we will be in a position to lead Industry 4.0”, he said.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister expressed the belief that a clear roadmap for the future will be prepared on various constructive points during this session of the Indian Science Congress. “In Amrit Kaal, we have to make India the most advanced laboratory of modern science”, Shri Modi concluded.