The Indian scientific community must translate their research findings into marketable products for the country to realize the true benefits of scientific progress, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday.
Inaugurating the five day Indian Science Congress at the SRM University campus at Kattankulathur that is witnessing a congregation of five nobel laureates and over 7000 scientists from across the country and abroad, the prime minister lamented that workable projects out of the Raman effect were devised and marketing by foreign countries highlighting the sad gap in research and industry in the country.
Why are the products based on results of even Indian scientific research are imported, questioned the prime minister to stress the significance of applying the scientific research findings and translating them into products of daily use by the people.
The scientific community must think out of the box so that the country ushers in a decade of innovations that find ready applications, Manmohan Singh said. With a view inspire and motivate the younger generation to take up science, the prime minister said, he has asked the science and technology ministry to observe year 2012-13 as the year of science.
"Science should be used for the betterment of the lives of the people," the prime minister said and added "unless we strengthen the base of our science education system, we cannot attain the height of the pyramid of excellence," he said asking the scientific community to devote its energies to pinpoint the strategies that help the country realize its true potential.
If the country is to reap the full benefits of spending on scientific research and reach the fruits to the common man, then the link between the universities where research takes place and the industry that uses the results of the research to make products of mass use must be strengthened in the country, the prime minister said outlining the steps government had taken to promote science education.
Requesting the 98th Science Congress to come out with workable and actionable action plans to strengthen the link between varsities and industry, Manmohan Singh said India would do well to tap the vast reservoir of talent pool of people of Indian origin settled and studying in different parts of the world.
Cyber technology gives the opportunity to pool resources and collaborate with Indians working in different streams of scientific arena so that the common man is benefitted, the prime minister said taking note of the fact that the Indian scientific work was making good progress.
Earlier, union minister for science and technology, Kapil Sibal informed the august gathering that research papers by the Indian science academic bodies had shown a remarkable rise during the past few years. As against a global growth rate of 4 %, India's share of research publications today stood at 12 %, the minister said adding that the government was trying to build on this base of success.
At the core of the strategy is to develop India's own Ivy league (Nav Ratna varsities) as the scientific education hub that will also devise ways and means to strengthen and improve the way science and math is taught to the youngsters, he said.
The move to link thousands of colleges and varsities to share educational resources will surely give the necessary push to the science education, he said and added the setting up of National Innovation Council has already shown good results.
Both the Prime Minster and the union HRD, science and technology minister Sibal, welcomed the private sector initiatives in education and in particular praised the contribution of the private sector in technical education.
SRM University vice chancellor, TR Panchamuttu, thanked the government for trusting the private sector with education and said that this has paved the way for technical tie ups with the best in the world. The students are now having an easier access to information and are in tune with global trends in various aspects of professional life up ahead.