Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Science & Technology
17-November-2014 17:19 IST
Dr Harsh Vardhan says Vision S&T 2020 on Cards
“Recent Decisions by PM have Revived Confidence in our own Abilities”

The Narendra Modi government will soon institute a nation-wide consultation process with a view to developing the first, publicly accessible Science and Technology policy. It will be called “Vision S&T 2020” and articulate the road ahead towards self-reliance and technological independence in the 21st Century.

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology, said in Guwahati today that Indian scientists must uphold the paradigm of self-reliance as the government of Shri Narendra Modi has already committed itself to this goal. Some recent decisions by the Prime Minister have reaffirmed the principle of national dependence on India’s own scientific-technological establishment.

This is the first time a Prime Minister of India has cancelled already-decided proposals to float global tenders on defence purchases. This speaks volumes for the confidence he has on our own scientists. So let’s work hard to live up to his expectations.”

The Minister, who unfurled the website of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), Guwahati, today, pointed out that Prime Minister Modi has “surprised the world by deciding that the India of the future will depend on her own R&D to build helicopters, transport aircraft and submarines for the all-important defence sector.”

He remarked that world governments and media have been totally overwhelmed by Prime Minister Modi’s decisions on defence self-reliance. “We are presently the world’s biggest importer of defence equipment. Thanks to our purchases world powers get rich and their children get jobs. Within a few years this will change.”

The “Make in India” project of the Prime Minister is therefore not empty rhetoric. He is seriously interested in reviving what was an old, discarded slogan into a “doable” project. Therefore, investment into core research is going to see manifold increase in the coming years.

IASST is an autonomous, multidisciplinary, research organisation under the Department of Science and Technology. It was founded in 1979 by Assam Science Society as an organisation to carry out research into frontier research in science and technology. It was inaugurated by Nobel Prize for Chemistry winning scientist Dorothy Hodgkin.

This is the second research institution visited by the Union Minister since assuming office last week. Both are in the North-East. Earlier, he had visited the North-East Institute of Science and Technology, Jorhat, where he had brain-storming sessions with scientists and researchers drawn from the fields of earth sciences, microbiology, material sciences and other disciplines.

Scientific and technological self-reliance are closely linked to national sovereignty and the development of national character. We have suffered enough brain-drain because of our unwillingness to think out of the box and visualise great national objectives. We are now determined to put India on the high road to self-reliance,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

The Minister visited the 14 laboratories of IASST where researchers carry out experiments under five research programmes. The students and scientists gave him demonstrations of their work and put on display their objectives and progress. He was guided by Prof. N.C. Talukdar, Director of IASST, and senior faculty members of the institute.