India is on the cusp of a scientific revolution in many sectors, including quantum technologies, digital technologies, and health care, Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India, Ajay Kumar Sood said on Sunday.
Speaking at an event near Chennai, he said the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic has taught people that by working collectively India can make an "exponential progress."
"The office of Principal Scientific Adviser has commenced discussions on the launch of one health mission cutting across departments and ministries of the government which will integrate disease surveillance and control, cutting across humans, livestock and wildlife," Mr Sood said after presenting the degrees to students of SRM Institute of Science and Technology during the 18th Convocation held at its campus near here.
The world today is looking at India with admiration and expectation that it would contribute to solving global issues, such as clean energy, water remediation, clean environment and sustainable growth.
"This is certainly within our reach and our research has to be comparable to the very best in the world in all disciplines ranging from basic science in engineering and humanities. I urge you to push the frontiers of knowledge and translate this knowledge towards societal development," he said addressing the new graduates.
Noting that a strong country is measured in terms of education, science, technology and innovation, he said, "although we have developed considerable strengths in all four pillars individually, I would like to point out that we have led this four pillars function almost in isolation for way too long."
"This may sound like a cliche, but we certainly need to break the silos. Deeper engagement among those pillars will let us leverage much more benefit and what we are experiencing today." he added.
Referring to the clean energy mission, Mr Sood said, "India has committed to achieve net zero by 2070 and this is a commitment which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given and this is a very ambitious target which means that we need to be doing something beyond our conventional ways to achieve this."
On the health sector, he said it is at the "cusp" of a revolution encompassing artificial intelligence, machine learning, tele-health and indigenous development of new medical equipment.
"Our response to COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that by coming out of our silos and working collectively we can make exponential progress," he said.
Mr Sood stressed that it is important to predict, prevent, detect and respond to global health threats and said India is seen as a thriving ecosystem for service based entrepreneurships and start-ups.
"To be truly technologically self-reliant we must equally promote deep technology driven based product based entrepreneurship and I hope and very much convinced that SRM Institute will play a leading role in deep technology startups."
Mr Sood was also awarded the honorary degree of Doctorate of Science (honoris causa) in recognition of his contribution to the field of science at SRM Institute of Science and Technology.
A total of 7,380 graduates, including 107 Ph D scholars received degrees. As many as 77 students who secured top ranks were awarded gold medals in the presence of SRM Institute of Science and Technology founder-chancellor T R Paarivendhar on the occasion.
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