Jammu (ISJ): Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh lamented, science has not yet got its proper due in the value system of the country. Opening the 101st Indian Science Congress in Jammu on Monday (Feb 03, 2014), Dr. Singh said giving both moral and material support for the development of science is essential as the future depends on it and a scientific attitude and temper is essential for developing a progressive, rational and human society.
Dr. Manmohan Singh called for hike in annual spending on science and technology to at least 2 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product, GDP. He suggested, this should be achieved by combined efforts of the government and industry.
Underlying the need to promote use of new technologies for farm production, the Prime Minister cautioned against succumbing to unscientific prejudices against Genetically Modified Crops.
"Climate-resilient agriculture and modern bio-technological tools hold great promise. Use of bio-technology has great potential to improve yields. While safety must be ensured, we should not succumb to unscientific prejudices against Bt. Crops," said Dr. Manmohan Singh.
The Prime Minister lauded mission-oriented scientific agencies for their achievements like launch of Geostationary Launch Vehicle GSLV-D5 powered by indigenous cryogenic engine, Moon and Mars Missions, development of Fast Breeder Reactor ? a prototype of which is expected to be unveiled this year and advances in meteorology.
Dr Manmohan Singh called for investment in strengthening science education. He said this would require greater support for education both at school and university level.
"We need to ensure that the best among our young people take up science as a career and to do this we must ensure that it is attractive enough for them to do so," said Dr. Manmohan Singh.
PM also announced India will partner the international scientific community in establishing some of the world's major R&D projects like Gravitational Wave Experiment, Neutrino-based Observatory in Tamil Nadu and joining the famous CERN institute as an associate member.
"India needs to leverage the ability of modern science to deliver value to society. We must also seek global leadership in at least some research and development areas. Affordable innovations for human healthcare, sustainable agriculture, clean energy and total solutions for water-related challenges are some areas where Indian science can seek global leadership," said Dr. Singh. "Indian scientists have to learn from the past, they have to connect with the present, and they have to focus on the future."