Offers a Five-E mantra to scientists to make the impact of science on society
N B Nair
Mysuru (ISJ) ? Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (Jan 03) called upon scientists to develop tools to exploit India?s internal water and its marine resources.
?We are at the cusp of a new era, where oceans will become important drivers of our economies. Their sustainable use can bring prosperity; and, give us clean energy, new medicines and food security beyond just fisheries,? said the Prime Minister inaugurating the 103 Session of Indian Science Congress at Mysuru in Karnataka.
He listed a series of measures taken by the government to tap marine sources including raising the level of scientific efforts in marine sciences.
?Ocean is critical to India?s future, too, with over 1300 islands, a 7500 km coastline and 2.4 million square kilometers of Exclusive Economic Zone,? said Modi. ?We will set up an advanced centre of research in marine biology and biotechnology and establish a network of coastal and island research stations in India and abroad.?�
Narendra Modi gave a Five-E mantra to scientists and technologists to make the impact of science the most. These are Economy ? to find cost effective and efficient solutions, Environment ? when our carbon footprint is the lightest and its impact on ecology is the least, Energy ? when country?s prosperity relies less on energy and the energy we use keeps our skies blue and earth green, Empathy ? when our efforts are in tune with our culture, circumstances and social challenges and Equity ? when science advances inclusive development and improves the welfare of the weakest.
The Prime Minister scoffed at criticism, his government has slashed budgetary support to scientific ministry and offered to increase the allocation of resources for science and deploy them in accordance with our strategic priorities.
?We will make it easier to do science and research in India, improve science administration, and expand the supply and improve the quality of science education and research in India,? he said.
Turning to rapid industrialization and increasing demand for energy, Narendra Modi said it will be critical to address the rising challenges of urbanization. By 2050, 50% of India will be living in urban habitats and by 2025, the country may have more than 10% of the global urban population, he warned.
While cities are major engines of economic growth, employment opportunities and prosperity, it also accounts for more than two-thirds of global energy demand and result in upto 80% of global greenhouse gas emission. ?That is why I have placed so much emphasis on smart cities,? said Modi.
He called upon the scientific community to harness the full potential of traditional knowledge, as it holds the secrets to economic, efficient and environment friendly solutions to many of our problems.
?And, we must bridge the distance between traditional knowledge and modern science, so that we can craft local and more sustainable solutions for our challenges,? felt the Prime Minister. ?But, today they are at risk of extinction in our globalised world.�Like traditional knowledge, science has also evolved through human experiences and exploration of Nature. So, we must recognize that science, as we see it, does not constitute the only form of empirical knowledge about the world.?
The 103rd Session of the Indian Science Congress is being attended by several Nobel Laureates from across the globe, scientists from different streams from India and abroad.
Unlike the last Session of Indian Science Congress, this year?s session is a low-key affair, and the session confined itself to basic or applied sciences and there were no votaries of Vedic sciences, as at the last Mumbai Session.
Science and Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, whose remarks on Vedic knowledge raised storm during the last session, deliberately kept himself out of the issue.