Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that every sector in India today is dependent on Science and Technology, but what is lacking is awareness about suitable technology applications for sector-specific problems and the Start-Up avenues.
In an interview to a News Agency, Dr Jitendra Singh said, many of the Ministries and Departments of the Central Government can avail of scientific applications and solutions for the specific problems in a very cost-effective manner. He reiterated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi always stressed on an integral approach rather than working in silos to bring in “Ease of Living” for the common man.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, taking a cue from Modi’s out-of-box approach, in the recent past all the seven different Departments and Ministries related to Science, namely, Science & Technology, Biotechnology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Earth Sciences, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Atomic Energy and Space held brainstorming sessions with each of the Line Ministries like Agriculture, Jal Shakti, Railways, Health, Highways, etc.
Dr Jitendra Singh informed that so far over 200 proposals/requirements were received from 38 Line Ministries/Departments for Scientific Applications and Technological Support & Solutions. He said, concerned Science Ministries and Departments are on the job applying different scientific solutions for sectors like agriculture, land mapping, dairy, food, education, skill, railways, roads, Jal Shakti, power, coal and sewage cleaning to name a few. He said, building on from previous such meetings, Joint Working Groups are being set up between Science Departments and Line Ministries to speed up identification of the scientific applications for proposals and problems of Line Ministries.
The Minister informed that for Jal Shakti Ministry, state-of-the-art Heli-borne survey technology was launched last year for groundwater management, developed by CSIR-NGRI Hyderabad. He said, to start with, the States of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana are being taken up for this latest heli-borne survey and expressed hope that this technology will play an important role in positively contributing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Vision and Mission of “Har Ghar Nal Se Jal”. Mechanised sewage cleaning system developed by CSIR for wider dissemination will help in achieving the target of Swachh Bharat Mission, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Drone technology is being applied in agriculture for irrigation, spraying of pesticides and manuring the field thus bringing savings to farmers input costs. Similarly Space technology is being increasingly applied for telemedicine, drought mapping in agriculture and in Railways for rectifying unmanned crossings and for prevention of possible accidents. The Minister said, he has instructed the scientists and officers in various departments for use of Artificial-Intelligence and Robotics in medicine and surgery. He also referred to UV technology developed by CSIR installed in Parliament and now being extended to Railways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 virus.
In reply to a question, Dr Jitendra Singh said, each of the States and Union Territories has been asked to identify the areas where technological interventions can help in resolving diverse problems to enable ease of living for common man. He said, for instance the UT Government of Jammu & Kashmir will be assisted through the latest snow clearing technology of the Dal Lake, while Puducherry and Tamil Nadu are being assisted in restoration and renovation of sea-beach. He said, Aroma Mission in Jammu and Kashmir and promotion of Leh Berry in Ladakh are all happening due to suitable scientific interventions and creating lakhs of job opportunities, besides promoting local sustainable start-ups.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that after the unlocking of the Space Sector for private players, Innovative Start-Ups are coming in a big way to explore the untapped potential. He said, more than 50 Start-ups are working in the Space Sector and about 10 of them are having funding of over Rs 50 crore or more individually. The Minister was happy to note that apart from NAVIC based applications, Start-ups are also working on software solutions for debris management in Space having global ramifications. Similarly in the area of Atomic Energy, Joint ventures with PSUs will help in augmenting energy demand through nuclear power plants.