The Indian scientific community must apply its research findings and translate them into marketable products for the country to realise the true benefits of scientific progress, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday.
At the same time, he cautioned scientists on “illiberal” uses of technology and cited use of nuclear weapons, applications of synthetic chemistry in agriculture and in poison gases and “perverse use” of genetics in Nazi Germany to drive home his point.
Inaugurating the 98th Indian Science Congress at the SRM University campus here, Singh asked why some products based on results of Indian scientific research had to be imported.
He said the scientific community must think out of the box to usher in innovations that find applications. He said if India was to reap the benefits of spending on scientific research then the link between universities, where research take place, and the industry, which uses the research results to make products of mass use, must be strengthened.
Urging the Science Congress to devise plans for bringing the varsities and industry closer, Singh said India should tap the talent pool of people of Indian origin across the world.
The PM said he had asked the science and technology ministry to observe 2012-13 as the year of science to encourage youngsters to take to science.
Addressing the gathering, union minister for science and technology and human resource development Kapil Sibal said the government was planning to develop ‘Navratna’ universities, on the lines of Ivy League varsities, as the scientific education hub that would also devise plans to improve the way science and math was taught to youngsters.
Five Nobel laureates and over 7,000 scientists from across the country and abroad are attending the five-day meet.
(With PTI inputs)