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Innovate to address India’s energy needs: PM to scientists

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New Delhi/Nagpur: India’s scientific community should make innovations to address the country’s growing energy requirements, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday addressing the 108th Indian Science Congress in Nagpur via video conferencing.

“Let us work on topics that are necessary for the whole of humanity today. For example, if we take one topic – Energy. India’s energy needs are going to increase. If the scientific community of India makes innovations related to energy requirements, then it will be very good for the country,” he said.

The Prime Minister remarked that fulfilling India’s requirements should be the root of all inspiration for the entire scientific community.

“Science in India should make the country atmanirbhar,” the Prime Minister remarked as he noted that 17-18 percent of the human population resides in India and such scientific developments should benefit the entire population.

To address the growing energy needs of the country, the Prime Minister informed that India is working on a National Hydrogen Mission and stressed the need to manufacture critical equipment like electrolysers in India to make it a success.

“India is working on the National Hydrogen Mission for the immense potential of hydrogen energy. To make it successful, it is necessary that various essential components like electrolyzers are made in the country… research should also be done in that direction. Our scientists, and industry, have to work together for this,” he added.

The focal theme of this year’s ISC is ‘Science and Technology for Sustainable Development with Women Empowerment’.

It will deliberate on ways to increase the number of women in higher echelons of teaching, research and industry along with finding ways to provide women with equal access to Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics education, research opportunities and economic participation.

Expressing happiness about the theme of the Science Congress this year which combines sustainable development with women empowerment, the Prime Minister emphasised the complementarity between the two areas.

However, he stressed, “Our thinking is not just that we should empower women via science but also empowering science by the contribution of women.”

Talking about the scientists’ challenge of turning knowledge into actionable and helpful products the Prime Minister said,

“Efforts of science can turn into great achievements only when they come out of the lab and reach the land, and their impact reaches from global to grassroots, when its ambit is from journal to jameen (land, everyday life) and when change is visible from research to real life.”

The Prime Minister highlighted the opportunities for private companies and startups by associating with R&D labs and academic institutions. He also pointed out quantum computing and how India is making its mark in the world as a quantum frontier.

“India is moving fast in the direction of quantum computers, chemistry, communication, sensors, cryptography and new materials,” the Prime Minister said as he urged young researchers and scientists to gain expertise in the quantum field and become leaders.

Modi stressed the need to focus on futuristic ideas and areas where no work is happening anywhere. He asked for keeping AI, AR and VR as priorities.

He exhorted the scientific community to come up with innovations in the semiconductor chips and asked them to think about keeping the semiconductor push future ready from now on.

“If the country takes initiative in these areas, we will be in a position to lead Industry 4.0,” he said.

Concluding the address, the Prime Minister expressed the belief that a clear roadmap for the future will be prepared on various constructive points during this session of the Indian Science Congress.

During the event, Children’s Science Congress will also be organised to help stimulate scientific interest and temperament among children.

Farmer’s Science Congress will provide a platform to improve the bioeconomy and attract youth to agriculture.

Tribal Science Congress will also be held, which will be a platform for the scientific display of indigenous ancient knowledge systems and practices, along with focusing on the empowerment of tribal women.

The first session of the Indian Science Congress was held in 1914.

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