Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday advocated a new concept – scientific social responsibility (SSR) for leading scientific institutions in the country, on the lines of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to promote scientific excellence in all stakeholders, including educational institutions.
Inaugurating the 104th session of the Indian science congress at Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, the Prime Minister said the scientific institutions must create an environment for sharing ideas and resources.
“The brightest and best in every corner of India should have the opportunity to excel in science. This will ensure that our youth get high-end training exposure to the best of science and technology to make them job-ready in a competitive world,” he said.
Modi called upon the national laboratories to connect with schools and colleges to develop appropriate training programmes. Laboratories, research institutions and universities in each major city and region should be interlinked to function on a hub and spoke model.
“The hubs will share major infrastructure, drive our national science missions and be the engines that link discovery to application,” he said.
The Prime Minister announced that the ministry of science and technology was initiating a programme focused on students of classes 6 to 10. The programme will scout, mentor, reward and showcase ten lakh top innovative ideas focused on local needs from five lakh schools.
“By 2030, India will be among the top three countries in science and technology and will be among the most attractive destinations for the best talent in the world. The wheels we set in motion today will achieve this goal,” he said.
He called upon India’s best science and technology institutions to further strengthen their basic research in line with leading global standards. Translating this basic knowledge into innovations, start-ups and industry would help the country achieve inclusive and sustainable growth.
He said science must meet the rising aspirations of our people. “We must address the problems of urban-rural divide and work for inclusive development, economic growth and employment generation. To enable this, there is a need for a new overarching structure that will coordinate with all the relevant stakeholders,” he said.
He called for building a strong science and technology infrastructure that is accessible to academia, start-ups, industry and R&D labs. “I am sure that our scientists will scale up their efforts ranging from the quality of basic sciences to technology development to innovation,” he said.