Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday advocated scientific social responsibility (SSR) for leading scientific institutions on the lines of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to promote scientific excellence in all stakeholders, including educational institutions.
Modi also exhorted scientists to keep an eye on the rise of disruptive technologies and leverage them for the country’s growth, as he pledged government’s commitment to supporting different scientific streams with emphasis on innovations.
Noting that the rapid rise of Cyber Physical Systems has the potential to pose unprecedented challenges and stresses to India’s demographic dividend, Modi emphasised on the need to develop an inter-ministerial mission in this area to secure the nation by creating basic R&D infrastructure, man power and skills. “On the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility, the concept of Scientific Social Responsibility needs to be inculcated to connect our leading institutions to all stakeholders, including schools and colleges. We must create an environment for sharing of ideas and resources,” the prime minister said in his inaugural address at the 104th session of the Indian Science Congress here.
Noting that the brightest and best in every corner of India should have the opportunity to excel in science, Modi said 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.
“To this end, I would exhort the National Laboratories to connect with schools and colleges to develop appropriate training programmes. This will also help with the effective use and maintenance of our vast scientific and technological infrastructure.
“Laboratories, Research Institutions and Universities in each major city 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 said college teachers with background in research can be connected to the neighbouring universities and R&D institutions. “Outreach activities from the institutions of eminence to schools, colleges and polytechnics will activate the latent Science and Technology manpower from the educational institutions in your neighbourhoods.”
“Seeding the power of ideas and innovation in schoolchildren will broaden the base of our innovation pyramid and secure the future of our nation. As a step in this direction, Ministry of Science & Technology is initiating a programme focused on students of classes 6 to 10,” Modi said, adding, “The programme will scout, mentor, reward and showcase ten lakh top innovative ideas focused on local needs from 5 lakh schools.”
Referring to the rise of disruptive technologies, Modi said there is equally a need for the scientists to keep an eye on them and be prepared to leverage them for growth.