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PM Modi inaugurates 105th Indian Science Congress in Manipur; urges for extension of research from labs to land
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 105th Indian Science Congress with the theme "Reaching the Unreached through Science and Technology" in Manipur on March 16 along with paying tributes to the noted Indian scientists who passed away recently and internationally renowned physicist of Stephen Hawking who passed away a few days ago.

"Science has been synonymous with progress and prosperity from time immemorial. As the best scientific minds of our nation, all of you gathered here today are power-houses of knowledge, innovation and enterprise, and are best equipped to drive this change. The time is ripe to redefine 'R&D' as 'Research' for the 'Development' of the nation – that is 'R&D' in the real sense," he stated in his address the text of which has been officially released.

He stressed the need for the scientific achievements to be actively communicated to the society for inculcating scientific temper among the youth. He called upon scientists to develop an appropriate mechanism for interaction with school-going children.

Here are some excerpts from his address.

·         We are committed to increasing the share of non-fossil fuel based capacity in the electricity mix above 40 per cent by 2030. India is a leader in the multi-country International Solar Alliance and in Mission Innovation.

·         We are making concerted efforts to achieve complete elimination of TB from India. A few days ago, at the 'End TB Summit' in New Delhi, we demonstrated our commitment to eliminate TB from India by 2025, five years ahead of the WHO target of 2030.

·         Our space research program has the capacity to successfully place over one hundred satellites in space in one go. This has been made possible through the hard work and dedication of Indian Scientists.

·         After the success of Chandrayan-1 we plan to launch Chandrayan-2 in the coming months. This fully indigenous effort will include landing and travel on the surface of the moon by a rover.

·         We need a multi-pronged approach including efficient solar and wind power, energy storage and electric mobility solutions, clean cooking, conversion of coal to clean fuels like methanol, cleaner power from coal, smart grids, micro-grids and bio-fuels.

·         Research should also be conducted in Yoga, sports, and traditional knowledge disciplines. Small and medium scale industry units have been the main-stay for employment generation. With global competition, they are facing increasing challenges. Can our scientific and technological institutions take up the cause of the MSME sector and assist these units in improving processes and products?

·         Together with Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning and cyber-physical systems, effective communication will be a major ingredient in our success in smart manufacturing, smart cities, and Industry 4.0.Let us aim for India to be among the top 10 countries in the Global Innovation Index by 2030.

"This would be a great service to Mother India. India has a rich tradition and a long history of both discovery and use science and technology. It is time to reclaim our rightful place among the front-line nations in this field. I call upon the scientific community to extend its research from the labs, to the land. I am confident that through the dedicated efforts of our scientists, we are embarking on the road to a better future. The future we wish for ourselves, and for our children," he urged.

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