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S & T policy in offing to boost agriculture, industry

A COMPREHENSIVE policy with emphasis on use of science and technology to achieve self-sufficiency and excellence in the fields of agriculture, education, industries and energy is on the anvil in State.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2007 15:56 IST
Sravani Sarkar
Sravani Sarkar

A COMPREHENSIVE policy with emphasis on use of science and technology to achieve self-sufficiency and excellence in the fields of agriculture, education, industries and energy is on the anvil in State.

MP Council of Science and Technology (MPCST) has prepared the draft policy that has been circulated among selected academicians and bureaucrats for suggestions. After receiving suggestions, MPCST will submit the draft policy to the chief minister’s office next week. After internal scrutiny, the CM office will place the draft policy before Cabinet for approval.

A Special Task Force (STF) of scientists and academicians headed by Prof K I Vasu has prepared the draft. The STF deliberated for over 100 hours before finalising it.

Doubling food grain and milk productivity, substantial increase in the number of matriculates and science graduates, diploma and certificate holders, ensuring productivity potential of forests for environmental stability, effective management of water resources and harnessing additional 50,000 million cubic metres of water for irrigation, creating scientific, technological and infrastructure capacities to ensure that the State reaches 10000 mw power capacity in five years, health for all through use of traditional and modern medicine and achieving five per cent employment growth are some of the major goals of the policy.

The policy outline is in keeping with the 11-point mission placed by President APJ Abdul Kalam before the State Assembly last year, MPCST director general Dr Mahesh Sharma told the Hindustan Times. The policy envisages a 15-point objective and also sets out the strategy and roadmap for its effective implementation. The role of academicians and higher education institutes in the implementation has been specially stressed.

The action plan for implementation envisages major thrust for science education at matriculation and higher secondary level, vocational education, introduction of concepts of ‘nai taleem’ (as promoted by Mahatma Gandhi and based on rural and routinely useful education) and Socially Useful Productive Work (SUPW) at high school and middle school level, upgrading of four colleges to full-fledged

agriculture universities, establishment of one advanced centre each for research and extension in the areas of agriculture/horticulture/animal husbandry in 11 agro-climatic zones of State, setting up of separate directorate for organic agriculture, separate department for `gau-sanrakshan’ (cow/cattle conservation) and allowing genetically modified organisms only after establishing their environmental safety.

Other action plans include promoting use of barren land for cultivation of oil-bearing species, setting up of a national institute for research and development, training and extension in non-conventional energy, mission mode research in hydrogen-based energy and introduction of system of energy audit for all consumers.

The draft policy stresses promotion of telemedicine and mobile clinics based on modern and traditional medicine, setting up of university of Ayurveda in all nine divisions of State and adoption of Gujarat pattern on Indian systems of medicine in primary health care. There will be emphasis on building competitive environment, industries and ancillaries based on availability of raw material, skilled labour and market potential.

Proper exploitation and research and development of minerals, developing employment opportunities, and decentralised rural industrialisation are also areas of focus. Promotion of new frontier areas like biotechnology and information technology and science popularisation at all levels are also thrust areas.

The roadmap for implementation proposes creation of special monitoring cell at MPCST, setting up of specific task forces and expert groups to draft detailed mission proposals, a steering committee on S&T in the State Planning Board and an advisory committee to CM, and involving teachers and professors at school and college level for execution.

First Published: Feb 02, 2007 15:56 IST