Faridabad: Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh, while addressing the India International Science Festival on January 17, 2024, expressed pride as Bharat achieved many milestones in the era of “Amrit Kaal.” Singh highlighted significant accomplishments, emphasising India’s emergence as a global leader in the sphere of science and technology.
Singh spoke at length about some of the big accomplishments. He cited the success of Chandrayaan missions, the emergence of Bharat as a leader in vaccine production to combat Covid 19, and also spoke about the third Aroma mission. He expressed optimism for the future, stating, “India of 2024 is ready to make a giant leap in the sphere of science and technology, and he added that today we are the fifth fastest-growing economy in the world.
During his address at the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI)-Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB) Joint Campus, Faridabad, Singh spoke about the five major decisions that have been taken by the Government of India. These decisions have given a much-needed boost to the science and technology sector and today the world is looking upto Bharat for solutions in this sphere, and this has been possible in the past nine years of governance under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Among the first decisions that the incumbent government has taken is with regards to the reforms in the field of space by increasing public-private partnership. He stated that in the past the private sector was reluctant to invest in this field owing to the prevalence of corrupt practices. However, with transparency being maintained now, there is an investment of over Rs 1,000 crore by the private players.
The second decision was the creation of the National Research Foundation, which has acted as a catalyst for innovation. The third important decision that was taken was the creation of the National Quantum Mission and this is expected to setup four mission hubs in Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication, Quantum Sensing & Metrology and Quantum Materials & Devices,. It will mainly be a consortia of academia, R&D labs, and industry.
The mission aims to seed, nurture, and scale up scientific and industrial R&D and create a vibrant & innovative ecosystem in Quantum Technology (QT). This will give the much needed impetus to economic growth, nurture the ecosystem in the country and make Bharat one of the leading nations in the development of Quantum Technologies & Applications (QTA).
The government implemented the National Geospatial Policy with the aim of revolutionising data accessibility and empowering sectors like agriculture with precise farmland mapping.
The other big decision of PM Narendra Modi-led government was to introduce the New Education Policy 2020 with a focus on holistic learning and fostering interdisciplinary approaches like combining biotechnology with economics.
Meanwhile, earlier, in a move to make science more accessible and inclusive, the dignitaries on the dias released special editions of the Programme Guide and News Bulletin in seven Indian languages. This initiative aims to broaden the reach of scientific information and engage diverse audiences across the country.
The regional language editions are in Malayalam, Bangla, Haryanvi, Bhojpuri, Hindi, Marathi, and Urdu and they were unveiled during the festival’s inauguration ceremony by distinguished guests. This underscores the commitment of the IISF to bridging linguistic barriers and promoting scientific literacy throughout Bharat.
The Harayana Government’s Transport, Mines and Geology, Elections, and Higher Education Minister, Mool Chand Sharma, spoke about the achievements of the State wherein he mentioned that legend like Kalpana Chawla was born here, and her accomplishments in the field of space and technology is par excellence.
Prof Abhay Karandikar, who is the Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, said that the International Science and Technology Festival has provided a platform for sharing knowledge and addressing some of the most pressing challenges that face humanity. He further said that the theme of the event aims to inculcate scientific temperament among the people at large.
The India International Science Festival is taking place from January 17-20,2024.