Scientists give India strategic edge: Ashwani Kumar

August 12th, 2011 - 2:14 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) Scientists provide the country its strategic parity with world powers and innovations define 21st century India, says Ashwani Kumar, minister of state for science and technology.

“To perceive and execute an idea is the genius of India,” he said at the release of “The India Idea”, a coffee table book on Indian scientific innovations, at Lodi Gardens here late Thursday.

“This is a nation of billion people and it is a nation of billion opportunities,” said Ashwani Kumar who is also minister of state for planning, parliamentary affairs and earth sciences.

He said his “passionate commitment” was to regularly applaud the achievements of the Indian scientists and to reiterate the debt of gratitude of the country for their innovations.

“The story of India is in its innovations and it defines the India of the 21st century,” he said, noting he had often been overwhelmed during his visits abroad by appreciation for India’s scientific innovations.

“But we have miles to go before we can sleep and I have seen where India is going,” he said.

Talking about the coffee table book, authored by journalist L.K. Sharma and edited by Shobit Arya, the minister said it captured the colours of a “rising, growing, pulsating, caring and daring” India.

Published by Wisdom Tree, the book has been brought out by the ministry of external affairs’ public diplomacy division to mark India’s 65th Independence Day and to celebrate the spirit of innovation.

Appreciating the effort, agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan, considered the father of the Indian green revolution, said: “Diversity and pluralism is the hallmark of Indian society and this book has brought out India in all its colourful splendour.”

Ministry of External Affairs joint secretary Navdeep Suri, who handles the Public Diplomacy Division, said the book theme was chosen “because the market is already full of books on India from a travel or culture perspective.”

“But there was nothing that captures its intrinsic spirit of innovation,” he said.

The book has contributions from eminent scientists and technocrats such as Swaminathan himself, Sam Pitroda, considered the father of India’s communications revolution, R.A. Mashelkar, who transformed research and development as an enterprise, and space scientist K. Kasturirangan.

Among others who authored articles for the book are nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar, Tata and Sons director R. Gopalakrishnan, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) director general Samir K. Brahmachari, and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief V.K. Saraswat.

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