You need to do much more, PM Modi tells top science heads

A government statement said Modi emphasised that the priority was to “apply science” to solve the country’s problems. Modi is learnt to have given the example of Israel, a country he visited recently, to make his point about science and innovation leading the country’s progress.

Written by Amitabh Sinha | New Delhi | Published:July 20, 2017 5:40 am
 PM Narendra Modi, Modi to scientific community, malnutrition, indian scientists, indian scientific community, air pollution, indian express Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File)

Indicating that he was not entirely satisfied with the work being done by the scientific community, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told a group of top officials from related departments that he was expecting much more from scientists in finding solutions to important problems like malnutrition.

In a nearly 90-minute interaction with Secretaries of scientific departments on Tuesday, the first such meeting in over a year, Modi said he was not competent enough to tell them (the scientists) how to figure out the solutions, but was disappointed that the scientific community had not fully lived up to its potential, sources told The Indian Express.

“He said the scientists have an immense duty towards the country, much more than perhaps they themselves realise… And while basic science research was all very good, and there was need to invest effort and money in basic research, scientists must also be able to come out with solutions to societal problems. He stressed a lot on translational research,” said a source.

A government statement said Modi emphasised that the priority was to “apply science” to solve the country’s problems. He pointed to grassroots innovations happening in various parts of the country and asked scientists to ensure that these are properly documented and scaled up to be used by a larger community.

Modi is learnt to have given the example of Israel, a country he visited recently, to make his point about science and innovation leading the country’s progress. He also cited the air pollution problem in Delhi, and said he was yet to see the scientific community unitedly focusing their energies on finding a solution, sources said.

He stressed a lot on outreach activities and told the officers to develop public interfaces of laboratories and research institutions to spread awareness about science and its possibilities. In this regard, he is learnt to have remarked that it was the responsibility of the scientific community to ensure that a 15-year-old girl, who would become a mother in a few years, knows how to take care of her nutrition.

Modi said scientists and the institutions they run must engage with the youth and inspire them to take up science as their career. He also told them to offer leadership positions to young scientists.

Besides the Secretaries, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister R Chidambaram, NITI Aayog member V K Saraswat and CEO of NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant were also present at the meeting. The scientific officials made a presentation on the work being done in different fields, especially related to the government’s priority areas, but a source said the Prime Minister did not seem very impressed.

Modi told the officers to identify important deliverables in different areas, with clear timelines, and also asked them to take on a few targets for the 75th year of India’s independence in 2022.

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  1. V
    Jul 26, 2017 at 5:25 pm
    May be he is right but he needs to implement the current innovations to masses of india as well as provide more funds to scientists, and also stop brain drain.
    1. V
      Jul 26, 2017 at 5:13 pm
      He has done it again, this time with scientists. Although he was quite right in his first attempt when he told Chartered Accountant the same thing, he does not seem to be right this time. Does he approve that in India, hybrid car research should be accelerate when he talks about Delhi pollution ? Post GST, there is a whooping 45 tax other duties on hybrid cars - let alone the cars who actually run on water. Does he know the shirdi sai baba temple is totally controlled by solar energy and can he ask for more implementations like this ? Another example which is very basic and not even related to science - look at how much rainfall. The states like Assam, Gujarat and Rajasthan are in havoc but in Maharashtra, the farmers are doing suicide due to lack of water (one of the reasons). Where is water harvesting and river interlinking ? Funny that in Israel, he said i need water and lots of it, he got impressed by the salt water technology and wants to import but not storing rain water.
      1. A
        Anumakonda Jagadeesh
        Jul 26, 2017 at 12:42 pm
        On Innovations promotion in India. Create an Innovation Fund in the ensuing Budget. Innovation Research and Development Organisation in Andhra Pradesh An organization “ IRDO” Organisation) can be set a Model for other states to follow with Central Assistance. Creativity,Innovation and Invention are the Pillars of Progress. IRDO Mandate: • Organize seminars on research initiation. • Organize workshops to help prospective researchers to prepare viable research proposals. • Engage experts of national and international repute as mentors of researchers • Provide research seed money to faculty • Provide financial support to innovative student projects • Assist innovators to obtain patents for their intellectual property. • Create a database of researchers and resources to map the research potential of the State. • Coordinate to pool the resources of various ins utions to form research clusters in different fields Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP)
        1. J
          Jul 22, 2017 at 1:36 am
          YES YES YES We have to do much more for our Nation to progress
          1. M
            MIGHTY BOMBER
            Jul 20, 2017 at 4:01 pm
            Sometime ago I watched a documentary on nuclear warhead टाइटनmissile crisis of Arkansas province of United States of America. Scientist involved with टाइटनproject said “Money was for free.” i.e. no shortage of funds for scientists. No budget allocation, no extra taxes, just print money and give to scientists. Indian Space Research Organisation asked for funds from government ten years ago for human flight in outer space. Why successive governments have denied funds for human flights ? The biggest problem today is, how do we take care of increasing population of India. Land is limited, food production cannot be increased beyond a certain point, houses cannot be provided to all. What is the solution ? COLONISATION OF MARS. Colonisation of Mars is not easy, scientific community has to re-invent the wheel in colonising Mars. Has Prime Minister ever thought about it ? Perhaps not, present government in more interested in Aadhar than long term scientific solution to human problems.
            1. S
              Jul 20, 2017 at 3:45 pm
              Lol it seems that the slaves are having a party. Probably this article was written for congress slaves to practice their writing skills. They seem to have a blast with made up content, distortion of facts and "alternative facts" in their comments below.
              1. G
                Jul 20, 2017 at 3:33 pm
                Universities get finacial support from the UGC. They too are obliged to contribute to the Reaearch, Development and Innovation. They too have too little patents.
                1. P
                  Jul 20, 2017 at 3:04 pm
                  If you do less flying and stay more inyourIndian office the others also would do more ,Modi! As is the leader so are the followers!
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