Top science administrators in ministries and departments discussed ways in which science ministries can address the problems and specific technological needs of states and ways to strengthen center-state coordination for the nation’s socio-economic development.
Chief Scientific Adviser, Government of India, Prof. AK Sood, emphasized the need for adequate investment in research and development by the private sector. “Some states have received significant foreign direct investment and some like Karnataka and Uttarakhand have made exemplary efforts in some areas like the One Health Mission,” he pointed out while explaining the impact of closer ties between the center and the states.
Demonstrating DST’s efforts to strengthen the state’s startup ecosystem, DST Secretary Dr. S. Chandrasekhar said, “DST has supported startup incubation centers in places like Hyderabad and Vadodara.”
“We are working to catalyze the Science and Technology Innovation (STI) ecosystem in the States by facilitating human resources, S&T infrastructure and socio-economic development through appropriate partnerships and strengthening the S&T-based delivery system,” he pointed out.
“Indian researchers in all corners of India must conduct research for the benefit of society with innovation oriented towards practical applications,” added Dr. Chandrasekhar.
Dr Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary, DBT highlighted India’s success in fighting the pandemic and said that if such a feat can be achieved in adverse situations, much more can be done in normal situations.
“Bio-economy target raised from $150 billion for 2025 to $300 billion for 2030. How India should prepare a national bio-economy strategy for the next 25 years,” said Dr. Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary, DBT
general manager; CSIR, Dr N Kalaiselvi advocated for technology-based socio-economic development in the states and a balanced approach to develop technology for urban and rural needs.
She highlighted the research and development activities carried out by CSIR in thematic areas such as smart agriculture, civil infrastructure, energy and environment, aerospace, mining, metals, minerals and materials, healthcare and specialty chemicals, understanding the unique characteristics and specific needs of countries and regions and provide customized solutions to critical country issues.
“The Ministry of Earth Sciences is translating earth science technologies such as earthquake detection, weather and climate forecasting and exploration of non-living ocean resources into services,” said Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary Dr M Ravichandran.
He talked about atmospheric and oceanic observatories and data transmission, establishment of automatic weather stations, X-band radars, coastal erosion and pollution monitoring and dissemination of information to various stakeholders such as farmers, fishermen, which have brought benefits to the people all over India.
Shri KN Vyas, Secretary, DAE and Chairman, Atomic Energy, shared success stories in agriculture and water technologies such as the use of isotopes to trace and recharge aquifers, use of radiation technology to preserve packaged food materials, water ATMs, etc. .n. which can be useful to countries.
Shri S. Somnath, Secretary, DoS and Chairman, ISRO, presented a ‘Space Roadmap to 2047’ with a focus on advancing the economic aspects of space technology.
He encouraged states to establish regional remote sensing centers based on states’ themes and specialties. He also advocated the promotion of entrepreneurship in value-added space products.
The session created a platform to discuss the key challenges for the Technology Vision 2047 presented by the Sectoral Group of Secretaries and solutions to propel India as a vibrant knowledge economy in the 21st century.