Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday exhorted scientists to keep an eye on the rise of disruptive technologies even as he underlined government’s commitment to supporting different streams ranging from fundamental science to applied science with emphasis on innovations.
In his address at the inauguration of the 104th session of the Indian Science Congress, Modi listed “rapid global rise of Cyber-Physical Systems” as one important area that needed to be addressed, saying it has potential to pose unprecedented challenges and stresses on the demographic dividend.
“But we can turn it into a huge opportunity by research, training and skilling in robotics, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, big data analysis, deep learning, quantum communication and Internet-of-Things. There is a need to develop and exploit these technologies in services and manufacturing sectors; in agriculture, water, energy and traffic management, health, environment, security, infrastructure and Geo Information Systems, financial systems and in combating crime,” he said.
The speed and scale of changes encountered today are unprecedented, he said. “My government is committed to supporting different streams of scientific knowledge; ranging from fundamental science to applied science with emphasis on innovations. Some of these important challenges are in the key sectors of clean water & energy, food, environment, climate, security, and health care,” he said.
Building a strong science and technology infrastructure that is accessible to academia, start-ups, industry and R&D labs is a priority of the government, he said, adding they need to address problems of ease of access, maintenance, redundancy and duplication of expensive equipments in scientific institutions. “The desirability of establishing professionally managed, large regional centres in PPP mode housing high value scientific equipment should be examined,” he said.