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Scientific research to be the engine for ‘Make In India’ in years to come

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Hyderabad (Jan. 08, 2015): The Minister for Science & Technology (S&T) Dr. Harsh Vardhan, has said that scientific research in the country is to made the engine for ‘MAKE IN INDIA’ in years to come.  Addressing a press conference along with Shri Y.S. Chowdary, the Minister of State for S&T in Hyderabad today, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said he was optimistic that all scientists of Indian origin would respond positively to the Narendra Modi government’s invitation to participate and bring an S&T-based industrial renaissance in our country. He said the focus of the present government will be to take scientific research to the field for implementation, for industrial progress.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that India today is definitely a more happening place in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) than the West. The Prime Minister’s confidence is definitely having an effect, he added.

The Modi government has already announced a package of incentives to Indian-origin STEM researchers so that they could get competitive salaries in India. Many private sector companies have already succeeded in wooing back to India talented scientists. This is reflecting well on India’s image as a country with innovation and STEM-based entrepreneurship.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that “Ministry of Science & Technology (BIRAC and CSIR) would work with State Industry Development Corporations for enabling deployment of technology benefitting SMEs”.

The spurt in the number of India’s intellectually talented students turning to the pure sciences has been noticed worldwide. Recently, the widely respected US think tank, Brookings Institution, has revealed in a report that 8 of the top10 cities worldwide in terms of sending STEM scholars to the United States on F-1 visas are in India. These cities are: Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata and Pune.

The Minister said that falling world oil prices will not distract India’s commitment to seeking breakthroughs in making renewable energy harnessing and its affordable adoption in everyday lif

 Solar power

The Minister said that he would drive the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to push the frontiers of research into renewable energy research, particularly solar power. 

 “World oil prices have fallen from $ 115 a barrel in June to less than $ 50 this week. But Prime Minister Modi, himself a great backer of solar energy research, development and adoption in everyday life, has instructed me not to be distracted from the pursuit of the ultimate goal of having a fossil fuel free economy. This is definitely good news for the Environment as the present dependence on non-renewable forms of energy is killing us all and would be disastrous for the future generations”the Minister said.

The total renewable energy potential from various sources is conservatively estimated at 2.5 lakh MW. According to United Nations, India has achieved less than 12.5 percent of the potential. As for solar power, he said, the potential is “unlimited”.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “In solar power the present trend is to think in terms of Gigawatts and not Megawatts because that would lead to prices dropping. In Germany, the government is encouraging house owners to rent out their rooftops so that more and more solar power can be harnessed for feeding into the grid. This policy needs to be incorporated into our national policy”.

Milestones: 2014-15

Extending his warm New Year’s greetings to the media representatives, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the Ministries of S&T and Earth Sciences, which he heads, have had a most fruitful 2014. He congratulated all scientists, researchers, technicians and administrative staff of government laboratories and foundations who have made “Mangalyaan”and other milestones possible.

“The Indian private sector should also be congratulated because it is functioning in many start up fields and competing with established players in the West. In the past 20 years many Indian companies based on biotechnology, biological sciences and other fields have attracted world recognition “the Minister said. Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that India a large youth are now expected to take the country to its glory through the scientific path.
  
He listed the following achievements of the Department of Science and Technology at the Press Conference.

·         Cutting-edge Technology: Make in India. India is a partner in the Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) project at Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA at a total cost of ₹1,299.8 Crore from 2014-23. 70% of India’s contribution will be in kind, in the making of quality mirrors and engineering in India. Partners: USA, Japan, Canada, China and India.
·         High performance computing resource of 800 TFLOPS has been commissioned for weather and climate modeling. Most powerful machine in the SE Asia.
·         Supercomputing for the future:  India has mounted an ambitious “National Supercomputing Mission (NSM): Building Capacity and Capability “with the aim of building Exascale computing with a total budget outlay of ₹4,500 Crore over 7 years (jointly with Department of Information Technology).
·         Understanding Climate Change and Saving the Himalayan Ecosystem: National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem. National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change.
·         Tsunami Early Warning System at ESSO-INCOIS designated as Regional Tsunami Service Provider (RTSP) for providing advisories to all Indian Ocean Rim countries.  India only country capable of providing advisories for both tsunamigenic zones: Makran coast and Andaman-Sumatra sub-duction zone.
·         Cyclone Prediction. Remarkable improvements: Recent events such as Thane, Phailin, and Helen and Hudhud.
·         Modeling Monsoon: A dynamic model employed to predict quantitative precipitation associated with the southwest monsoon.
·         Helping Recovery of Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) heavy weight torpedo ‘VARUNASTRA’. The support and participation by Vessel Management Cell of MoES ESSO-NIOT and crew of Sagar-Nidhi vital.
·         Make in India in High-end S&T: Deployed first Sub-surface Ocean Moored Observatory in the Arctic. ESSO-NCAOR and the ESSO-NIOT successfully deployed IndARC, the country’s first multi-sensor moored observatory in the Kongsfjorden fjord of the Arctic, roughly half way between Norway and the North Pole. This is a testimony to the capabilities of India in designing, developing and installing underwater observatories. 
·         Investing for our future talent:,  New thrust in Human Resource Development. Indian Scientists teach and train in Scale. International Scientists to teach in India. Opportunities for attracting Overseas Indian Scientists to return to India.
·         Enhanced Innovation Ecosystem: Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council now supports nearly 300 companies, 100 young entrepreneurs. Biotechnology Translational research and industry academia partnership are being promoted through 3 Biotech clusters, 8 Biotech Parks and 13 Bioincubators.
·         Rotavirus vaccine indigenously developed. The developed Rotavirus Vaccine at $1 per dose has been cleared for market license.
·         Decoding the Wheat Genome: 15 countries joined hands to complete this huge task of decoding 17,000 million bases. Indian Scientists participated in Decoding Chromosome 2A.
·         The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) provides significant technological interventions in many areas of economic and social importance which include environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, farm and non-farm sectors.
·         CSIR has 90% of US patents granted to any Indian publicly funded R&D organization. CSIR licenses 13.86% of its patents - above global average. 
·         National Capacity Building and in some areas, global leadership.  Example: CSIR technology provides gasoline with less than 0.3% benzene. A 0.60 MMTPA plant is being constructed at Reliance Refinery in Jamnagar. First in world.
·         Novel Broad Spectrum Confocal Microscope: Under CSIR-CGCRI and NMITLI programme a Broad Spectrum Confocal Microscope, world class ‘Made in India’High-end Product based on Supercontinuum Light Source. Paved the way for India’s presence in global photonics research.
·         Strategic Sector: DHVANI, a state-of-the-art marksmanship training system and Drishti Systems, airport visibility measuring tools.
·         KrishiShakti, an indigenous diesel engine tractor.
·         Just Announced: Indian Neutrino Observatory. A major high-tech Make in India initiative and a new-thrust in High-Energy Experimental Physics. Collaboration with Department of Atomic Energy.

Secretary, Ministry of S&T Dr. K. Vijay Raghavan and Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences Dr. Shailesh Nayak made presentation-

Source: PIB