New Delhi(PTI): Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari has said India’s development plans have consistently emphasised the need for sustained investment in research and related activities leading to creation of substantial capacity and capabilities in science and technology.
“The fruits of this effort are evident in our nuclear and space programmes, information and communication technology services, automotive and pharmaceuticals industries and other areas such as agriculture, healthcare, bio-technology and nano-technology etc,” Ansari said while addressing the closing ceremony of the silver jubilee celebrations of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advance Scientific Research (JNCASR) here on Monday.
“Despite these achievements, it is widely felt that we are yet to realise our full potential in the field of scientific research and technological innovation. As the Indian economy continues on the path of rapid, more inclusive and sustainable growth, it will be all the more necessary to ensure that our capabilities in science and technology grow in strength,” he added.
He said that many positive steps have been taken by the government in recent years to give a boost to science and technology efforts, and added that these are having a steady, incremental effect. However, he said, the overall outcome is a mixed one.
“It is clear that if our aspiration of becoming a leading global force in science is to be attained, a massive increase in science and technology education will be necessary – both in quality and quantity. This would be essential in order to fulfil our domestic demand of scince and technology, and human resources and to emerge as a quality supplier of scientific knowledge for the rest of the world,” Ansari said.
“Our strengths in original research in basic science have been substantial though science, done in India, has often led to striking new technologies being developed elsewhere in the world. It is believed that this is a consequence of the overall weakness of the innovation ecosystem in the country. We need to overcome this,” the vice president added.
He said the modern state must of necessity be a welfare state and providing human security should be its principal target. In this endeavour, the men and women of science have to be in the vanguard.
He concluded by saying, “It is here that the relevance of creating and sustaining a scientific temper assumes critical importance, more so in an environment like ours where many people in our vast population tend to live simultaneously in different ages and oscillate between various shades of tradition, superstition and of modernity. This creates mental dilemmas because, as the poet Milton put it: ‘The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”