Science and technology can tackle economic, social challenges: PM

January 10th, 2009 - 5:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Jan 10 (ANI): Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh today said that there is a close interconnect between scientific, progressive and secular values.

He was convinced of the necessity of the application of science and technology in tackling the enormous economic and social challenges facing a newly independent India.

Addressing the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the Indian National Science Academy in New Delhi, Dr. Singh said that INSA has taken the cause of Indian science over more than seven decades.

Today, the world is moving rapidly towards knowledge-based societies and economies. The pace of scientific and technological transformation all over the world has accelerated beyond our expectations. Yet, as the frontiers of knowledge are pushed forward, new and seemingly intractable problems arise which test our creativity as well as intellect.

It is against this background that we should look at the role that the Indian scientific community in general and INSA in particular could seek to play in our national life, Dr. Singh said.

Our priorities must reflect the many challenges and opportunities that we face as a nation. I would like to highlight a few where Indian scientists can make a tangible contribution, he added.

The first area that comes to mind is education. Over the years we have built many institutions of excellence and I can say with some satisfaction that since the early years of Independence, no government has done more to increase the number of institutions of excellence in the country than the present government, be they institutes of science, institutes of technology, centres for research or universities in general.

Maintaining standards in sciences and education while expanding the base at such a pace is indeed a difficult task. I would expect institutions like INSA to reflect on ways to combine expansion with excellence, he said.

The two sectors that call for immediate attention are energy and the environment. Our priorities are very clear. We need greater energy efficiency. We need new and sustainable sources of commercially viable energy. We need equity in the consumption of energy, Dr Singh said.

We need to reduce the human imprint on the environment. We need to establish and proliferate best practices. And we need to meet human needs and our development goals without threatening our planet and its limited resources, he pointed. (ANI)

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