Union Science & Technology Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has asked the State Science Ministers to adopt the Centre’s technology practices in governance and infrastructure development and implementation of welfare schemes.
“While some States are proactively emulating the Center’s integrated approach, other States are lagging behind or slow in adopting the Best Practices,” he said.
Addressing an interactive session of Science Ministers from different States and Union Territories during the ongoing 4-day "India International Science Festival", Dr Jitendra Singh said, in the last ten years, under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Government has extensively used technology in good governance practices, flagship programmes such as infrastructure development, digital healthcare, digital education, PM Gati Shakti, DBT & SVAMITVA.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, PM Modi has a scientific temperament and keenly promotes Science & Technology (S&T) based initiatives and projects.
Dr Jitendra Singh reiterated that the nation has progressed a long way technologically under the leadership of our visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many programs have been launched to make India a leader and destination for futuristic technologies. One such initiative is the setting up of 25 technology innovation hubs by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) across the country under National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical Systems (NM-ICPS).
Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that PM Modi had convened a Brainstorming Session in the year 2015 with ISRO and Line Ministries, that proved to be a turning point and today every Ministry/Department of the Central Government has at least one Space Project.
“Every department is being guided by the S&T Ministry and Department of Space, as a result S&T is fast emerging as the backbone of growth & development of the country,” he said.
The Minister called upon the State Science Ministers to appoint a nodal officer to keep close liaison with the CSIR and other Central Government supported R&D institutions.
“States and UTs can hold frequent interactions with the 37 CSIR laboratories spread across the country and 14 Institutions under the DBT to determine areas where the research projects can be used at various locations in the States and in promoting more Startups,” said Dr Jitendra Singh, noting that most states are not able to keep liaison with these institutes.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the success of Aroma Mission and Purple Revolution in J&K has resulted in over 3,000 StartUps engaged in Lavender cultivation alone. Aroma Mission is now being emulated in the North-Eastern Region while Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have sent delegations to J&K to study the Lavender cultivation model and have evinced interest in emulating the Aroma Mission, he said.
“It is very important to take a leaf out of best practices like the Aroma Mission which has spread from J&K to North East, the cleanliness drive across the coastal region, lake cleaning learnt from J&K & implemented in Manipur Loktak lake and connect similar missing links,” he said.
The Union Minister said, a lot of S&T opportunities exist in the different corners of India and these can be harnessed for the benefit of the entire country.
“Similarly, a lot of pioneering R&D work is being done by various scientific institutions across the country, for example the Technology Innovation Hub on Autonomous Navigation Foundation (TiHAN) at IIT Hyderabad has developed the first-of-its-kind, state-of-the-art Autonomous Navigation facility to develop unmanned ground and aerial vehicles while KPIT-CSIR in Pune has manufactured India’s first truly indigenously developed Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus. States where these institutes are located can tie up with these institutes, Industry and Startups to promote mass manufacturing of these technologies and draw the maximum benefit. At the moment, such an integrated approach is lacking,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, value addition from the States can enrich the S&T ecosystem and help transfer the benefits across communities.
Referring to the ongoing IISF2023, Dr Jitendra Singh said, while the four-day mega event is an opportunity to learn from each other, the benefits should go beyond the four days and result in a system in which the states constantly learn from each other.
Dignitaries who attended the Science Ministers Summit included Shri Inder Singh Parmar, Minister of Higher Education of Madhya Pradesh; Shri Keshab Mahanta, Minister of Science, Technology & Climate Change, Govt of Assam; Shri Tsering Angchuk, representing the UT of Ladakh; Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister; Dr VK Saraswat, Member NITI Aayog; and Prof Abhay Karandikar, Secretary DST.