PM Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 104th Annual Indian Science Congress at the Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati Today Afternoon. The role of science in planning, decision making, and governance has never been more important. We need to develop and deploy Geo-information Systems to meet the development goals of our citizens, Gram Panchayats, Districts and States. A coordinated effort by the Survey of India, ISRO and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology can be transformative. For sustainable development, we must take strong measures to focus on Waste to Wealth Management in the critical areas of electronic waste, biomedical and plastic wastes, and solid waste and waste water solutions. We are scaling up R&D on clean carbon technologies, technologies for enhancement of energy efficiency and increased and efficient use of renewable energy. Focus on environment and climate remains our priority to ensure sustainable development. Our strong scientific community can also effectively address our unique challenges. For example, can we find farmer-centric solutions to the problem of crop burning? Can we redesign our brick kilns for reduced emissions and greater energy efficiency? Science and technology is a key factor in the Startup India Programme launched in January 2016. Two other strong initiatives are Atal Innovation Mission and NIDHI - the National Initiative for Development and Harnessing Innovations. These programmes focus on building an innovation driven enterprise ecosystem. Further, Public-Private partnerships with CII, FICCI and high technology private companies are being pursued to strengthen the innovation ecosystem.
Our Scientists have contributed strongly to the strategic vision of the nation. The Indian space programme has put India among the top space faring nations. We have achieved a high degree of self-sufficiency in space technology, including launch vehicle development, payload and satellite building, applications for development and the building of core competence and capacity. The Defence Research & Development Organisation has played the role of a force multiplier for the Armed Forces with its systems and technologies. We are leveraging strategic international partnerships and collaborations based on the principles of mutuality, parity and reciprocity, to make Indian Science globally competitive. We are also placing special emphasis on building strong relationships with our neighbouring countries and multilateral fora such as BRICS. The best of global science is helping us unravel creation’s mysteries and develop cutting-edge technologies. Last year, we activated the 3.6 meter optical telescope in Devasthal in Uttarakhand made with Indo-Belgian collaboration. Recently, we approved the LIGO project with USA to construct a state-of-the-art detector system in India.
I wish to reiterate that the Government remains committed to provide the best support to our Scientists and Scientific Institutions. I am sure that our scientists will scale up their efforts ranging from the quality of basic sciences to technology development to innovation. Let Science and Technology become a strong tool of inclusive development and betterment of the weakest and poorest segments of our society. Together, we will prevail to make a just, equitable and prosperous nation. Jai Hind.