In a major policy shift from the past, India will be represented by eminent scientists and not a minister from the Narendra Modi government at conferences on science and technology. The trend will be started at conferences in Santiago and Boston next month.
“The minister will not form part of any delegation going abroad to participate in a conference on science and technology,” said MoS in the PMO Dr Jintendra Singh, who also has independent charge of the Science and Technology Ministry.
Addressing party workers at BJP headquarters Jammu on Saturday, he added, “Only scientists with original presentations will participate.”
“Only this month, we received invites for two conferences on science and technology taking place in Santiago and Boston… We were asked that the minister will lead the delegation. However, we asked them to excuse us from such a practice as my appetite for foreign travel is already over. We shall choose scientists who have original presentations for participation in such conferences,” Singh said.
“There are many senior posts lying vacant in the ministry and we have started an effort to get applications from senior scientists, especially those who had been left out in the past, only because of the impression that one has to sport a small beard and be a Leftist to become a scientist,” he said.
Pointing out that Modi has sent out a clear message to improve administrative work culture, Singh said the new government will encourage those who perform. “We don’t want to be vindictive towards any bureaucrat, but they too have to change,” he said. “I have got figures about foreign visits of bureaucrats during the past ten years and these reveal only a few had been travelling abroad repeatedly,” he added.
Singh also spoke about the Amarnath Yatra and said Centre will ensure a weather forecast every three hours.