Millennium Post

PM for academic freedom, autonomy to universities

Promising to cut excessive regulation and cumbersome procedures to encourage research, Modi said, “We want our scientists to explore the mysteries of science and not of government procedure.”

“Our institutions of research must become more broad based. Our universities must have a higher degree of academic freedom and autonomy,” said Modi while inaugurating the 102nd Indian Science
Congress on Saturday in Mumbai. In turn the universities must also subscribe to highest standards of academic excellence and accountability, Prime Minister Modi added.

In the backdrop of complaints of red tape by the scientific community in the country including delays in funding for research and approval processes, the Prime Minister stressed that ease of doing research is as important as ease of doing business.

“As the major source of science and technology...  government must do its part. When I speak of ease of doing business in India, I also want to pay equal attention to the ease of doing research and development in India,” Modi said.

Emphasising on the need to popularise science and technology, he said, “Our children should see role models in scientists as much as in sportsmen. Our scientists put Mangalyaan in orbit in first attempt. A nation’s progress and development is linked to science.”

The Prime Minister also called for clear regulatory policies for research and development in areas like biotechnology, nano-science, agriculture and clinical research. The Prime Minister said each government department should have an officer focusing on science and technology relating to its area of work and allocate a percentage of its budget for such activities.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan said, “It is a matter of pride for the organisers to push forward their vision as well innovative ideas through their exhibits.”

Vardhan also inaugurated a mega science and technology exhibition showcasing cutting-edge technologies of the country. Major attractions at the exhibitions are the pavilions of DRDO, showcasing defence related technologies, ISRO exhibiting actual scale models of rockets and satellite transponders and Mangalyan model among others.

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