Union Minister of Science & Technology Dr Harsha Vardhan has brought home the major point of debate in the country aimed at bringing technology to the precincts of a common man in each of state-funded laboratory in India.
The minister who visted Bangalore’s Raman Research Institute on Friday said the results of the scientific research should reach the people bridging the perceived gap between scientists and the common man. “Scientists in India cannot stand alone with their research papers but help people,” Dr. Harsh Vardhan said. He has also reminded the scientists that there should a time frame for their research to achieve targets.
The Minister recalled several declarations adopted in Dehradun and Hyderabad meetings, where scientists vowed to develop technologies for National missions like Swatch Bharat, Skill India, Smart Cities, Digital India, and Namami Ganga projects. Indian laboratories should now devise new ways to develop industry driven technologies, including game changing technologies.
On recent cuts in grants or funds to some science and research institutions, he said it was a temporary issue and once a thorough review is made, these funds would be restored soon, said the Minister.
The scientists’ community should be a catalytic agent to transform India into ‘Samarth Bharat-Sashakt Bharat’, he reminded scientists, who he said should focus on developing technologies for improving quality of life of the common man and coming months would see each of the laboratories focusing its resources on developing specific lines of inventions which would contribute to the social and economic objectives of the central government, the minister said.
Dr. Harsha Vardhan said experiments in the field of earth sciences are underway to predict climate conditions and disasters. While allocation of funds is not the issue, he said tapping the right talent is the major issue and the government has taken the initiative to bring back Indian born scientists and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself is pioneering the effort, he said.
He cited the example where the Prime Minister met 30 eminent scientists from various top institutions across the country three days ago to discuss it and other issues.
Dr Harsha Vardhan visited the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore where he had exposure to the cutting edge experimental research, as aprt of his whirlwind visit to all the research laboratories across the country to monitor and guide the scientific activities being undertaken there.
Essentially, the minister’s concern for Indian research not reaching the common man is not without reason. Despite 1.2 billion population and half of them women, India is unable to make even an automatic chapti-maker so far for household use. While the gigantic chapati makers are in use everywhere, the individual-centric chapati maker would ease nearly 70 percent of the productive age group into better working conditions.
Being a nation that depends on chapati for its daily food intake, an automatic chapati maker would give tremendous relief to the common man. Perhaps, the minister should be specific in his approach when he visit the research institutes in the country. However, in a country where fame-chasing remains the main goal of scientists, such small daily useful technologies remain distant for the common man.