PM Narendra Modi at the Indian Science Congress at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.
Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh:
India can be among the top three countries in the world when it comes to science and technology by 2030, but it can only happen if there's collaboration, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told 11,000 scientists at the 104th session of the Indian Science Congress at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.
For this to happen, scientists need to get out of their "deep-rooted silos", the Prime Minister said. And it was necessary that ministries, scientists, research institutions, industries, start-ups, universities and IITs, all "work together seamlessly". "In particular, our infrastructure and socio-economic ministries must make appropriate use of science and technology," he added.
Taking a dig at the entrenched bureaucracy that runs in the Indian scientific scene, the Prime Minister added, "If we want science to deliver, we must not constrain it".
The SCOPUS database -- the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature -- indicates that India ranks sixth in the world in scientific publications, growing at a rate of about 14% against the world average of about 4%, the Prime Minister pointed out.
It is possible, he said, that by 2030 India will also be among the most attractive destinations for the best talent in the world. "The wheels we set in motion today will achieve this goal," he said.
In his 25-minute speech, PM Modi said there was huge opportunity by research, training and skilling in robotics, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, big data analysis, deep learning, quantum communication and internet-of-things.
He said it was necessary to have the National Laboratories to connect with schools and colleges to develop appropriate training programmes. "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.
Possibly with an eye on the cashless society that he champions, PM Modi said, "We need to develop an Inter-Ministerial National Mission in the Cyber-Physical Systems to secure our future by creation of basic R&D infrastructure, manpower and skills."
Scientists, the Prime Minister added, need to keep an eye on the rise of disruptive technologies and be prepared to leverage them for growth.