Union Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday called upon scientists to think ‘out-of-box’ in research laboratories, as a number of government’s programmes like Digital India and Make in India ‘need support of the scientific community’. “Modiji’s government has formulated a series of programmes like Swachh Bharat, Digital India, Startup India, Standup India, bio-toilet and many others. All these people-oriented programmes need support from the scientific community to make life of people easy. Therefore, all should think differently to help the people in need,” he said addressing a function at the CSIR-IMMT.
Research by scientists should not be limited and remain closed within the four walls of laboratories but should percolate to the common man, he said.
The Union Minister for Science and Technology also laid stress on “R&D Vision for Future” and said better coordination was needed among the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratories to avoid duplication of R&D work in the country.
Vardhan urged scientists to complete the R&D projects in a time-bound manner and that “innovations should be cost-effective and better lab-industry synergy is required”.
He said a project was being launched to extract metal nodules from 2 km beneath the ocean bed.
“A pilot plant for pelletisation of iron ore is a major initiative undertaken by Institute of Mineral and Materials Technology (IMMT), Bhubaneswar. China is the only country which has honed this technology. Our success can save a lot of foreign exchange in terms of import,” he remarked.
The country, Vardhan said, needed more patents from research laboratories to show the world that its innovation was second to none.
More and more young talents should be given opportunity in the field of innovation, he said.
Asked about the Centre’s efforts to bring back Indian research brains back to the country, the BJP leader said, “Now many young and experienced scientists working abroad are returning to our country. Around 250 scientists have come back to join R&D field in their motherland.”
He said new scholarships have been introduced to attract young talents to do fundamental research in the country.
“Narendra Modi government will pump in more funds to this sector,” Vardhan said.
On skill development, Vardhan said the Center has assessed the quantum of skill requirement by 2022 in the country and what India can contribute in terms of skilled human resources to the world.
He said the Cabinet recently discussed in threadbare and chalked out an action plan to make young people skilled and upgrade the skills of youths who have already undergone skill training.
A detailed course of study for skill training in 30 subjects has been devised for introduction across all the sectors in the country, Vardhan said.
Earlier, the Union minister visited the mineral processing pilot plant and laid the foundation stone for another plant for pelletisation of iron ore at the IMMT Campus.
He also visited the Institute of Life Sciences and interacted with the scientists there.