India should file more patents, have more Nobels: PM (Roundup)

August 21st, 2011 - 11:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Kolkata, Aug 21 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday regretted India’s low filing of patents compared to several developing countries, and said the nation should aim to produce more Nobel laureates.

“It is a sad comment that the number of patents filed by the Indians is still very low as compared to the developed world and also compared to some developing countries,” the prime minister said while addressing the closing session of the diamond jubilee session at the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics here.

While pointing out that nuclear energy will play a vital role in the country’s developmental process, he also called for enhancing the safety standards of the country’s nuclear installations, saying there can be no compromise on the issue.

The country was in the process of expanding its civil nuclear energy programme, he declared.

“Nuclear energy will play an important role in our quest for a green and environment friendly energy mix and indigenous locomotive to fuel our development process.

“Even as we do so, we have to ensure the use of nuclear energy in India with the highest safety standards. On this issue there can be no compromise… I will call upon Saha Institute and other similar institutes of the country to contribute in enhancing the safety of our nuclear installations,” the prime minister said.

Underlining the government’s commitment to create an environment that attracts young men and women towards science and scientific research, Manmohan Singh asserted that the country has devised a policy that drew the best minds to the scientific vocation, but conceded that much more needed to be done in the years to come.

He said it was a collective duty to identify and train young talent, who should be provided an environment that was conducive to the ethos of research and spirit of discovery.

“Our aim should be to produce more Nobel laureates”.

Stressing that the tools for international cooperation in high technology areas have opened up for India, the prime minister exuded confidence that the nation’s scientists would be able to use the opportunities to develop an international temper and outlook.

“There should be greater international collaboration between our research institutes and those of other countries,” he said.

“Research institutes cannot function in isolation. There should be closer linkages between academia and industry and a seamless transfer of knowledge should take place from the laboratory to the shop floor.

“Our government is enhancing this process at all levels,” he said, but opined the private sector could contribute significantly.

“Higher investments in research and development should be accorded high priority across the economy,” he said.

Describing organisations like the SINP as the backbone of the nation’s strong scientific and technological infrastructure, he assured them of all support in preserving its autonomy.

“You deserve our fullest support in the preservation of your autonomy and in meeting your resource requirement. I as prime minister assure you of my commitment to both so that the objectives of the institution can be fulfilled.”

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