75 years of CSIR: Important to work on affordable diagnostics, says PM Modi

Inaugurating the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's Platinum Jubilee function on the occasion of its 75th Foundation Day, Mr Narendra Modi while appreciating the contributions of India's premier scientific body also stressed on the fact that nation has large expectations from CSIR in delivering for the nation in the time-bound manner

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The Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi at the CSIR Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, in New Delhi on September 26, 2016. The Union Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan and Minister of state, Mr Y S Chowdary are also seen.

New Delhi: The Prime Minister of India and the President of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Mr Narendra Modi, on September 26th inaugurated CSIR’s Platinum Jubilee Function on the occasion of its 75th Foundation Day.

Speaking on the occasion, he said that starting with the indelible ink which is the hallmark of our democratic fabric, CSIR has left an indelible mark on every sphere of life. He urged CSIR to create an ‘Ease of doing Technology Business’ platform to bring in right stakeholders so technologies reach beneficiaries. Mr Narendra Modi was addressing a distinguished gathering on the occasion of Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of CSIR.

The Prime Minister said that he looks forward to CSIR making an important contribution to the current Government’s mandate of doubling the income of the farmers’ income by 2022, the year the country celebrates 75 years of its Independence. In his message to the science fraternity across the country, Mr Modi stressed upon the urgent need to find technological solutions to address major problems being faced by the farmers, not only in terms of increasing the yield of the produce but also in growing crops in the wasteland areas through initiatives like ‘Per Drop More Crop’. He said we should have another objective which should be “an inch of land, and a bunch of crops.”

The Prime Minister visited an exhibition showcasing several initiatives of CSIR. He also dedicated some medicinal and aromatic plant varieties to the nation, interacted with farmers from five different locations across the country: Hyderabad, Cuddalore, Jammu, Jorhat and Palampur.

Mr Modi said that considering the contributions of CSIR over the last 75 years, the nation has large expectations from CSIR in delivering for the nation in the time-bound manner. This could be possible only by synergizing its activities and outcomes with all important functionaries in the entire value chain of taking the technology to masses, including all the important stakeholders, the government, industry, society and the ultimate users. Mr Modi gave a call to the scientific community to personally mentor science students to give shape to their ideas & energy and give India ‘Research Entrepreneurs’ of tomorrow.

The Prime Minister noted that CSIR has contributed significantly in Health sector. However, today when the nation faces the challenge of diseases like TB, Chikungunya, Dengue, etc, CSIR should also focus on development of affordable diagnostics that would help in the prevention of epidemics. He added that development of technologies enabling affordable products is the key to today’s world’s economy scenario that would not only cater to the domestic requirements but also help improve the country’s exports.

Earlier, Union Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan while thanking the Prime Minister for his valuable support and guidance, assured him that CSIR, which stands among top 100 R&D institutions in the world, would definitely deliver to the nation in a time-bound manner. CSIR, with the best minds and infrastructure is striving towards transforming the Brain Drain towards Brain Gain for India, he added.

On this occasion, the Prime Minister released seven new plant varieties developed by CSIR laboratories to the farmers located at five different locations. These varieties included: Citronella, Rose-scented Geranium, Lemongrass, Calla-Lily, new turmeric, Vetiver & Gerbera. The Prime Minister also interacted with the farmers at these places on prospects of farming these. He candidly urged farmers via video-conferencing to strive for taking a quantum jump in agriculture with the help of science & technology. He encouraged them to increase the use of modern technology and participation of youth in agriculture, concentrate on value addition based agriculture and explore different markets for their produce. Government stands firmly behind each citizen in his endeavors, he added. These new plant varieties, developed by CSIR labs in partnership with the state agriculture departments and universities over a span of five years, are expected to benefit the farmers in terms of additional income as a result of substantial increase in the agriculture yield.

The PM earlier witnessed an exclusive exhibition of major technological contributions of CSIR, including the ones that are in pipeline and have great potential of delivery to remove the drudgery of common masses, largely in the areas of healthcare, water conservation, solid waste management, waste-to-wealth, Communication & IT, housing, industrial competitiveness, and contributions to the strategic sector.

Speaking on the occasion the Minister of State for Science & Technology, Mr Y S Chowdary said he envisioned a quantum jump in the field of Science & Technology Research and gave a call to the scientific fraternity to work dedicatedly for the ‘Target Nobel Prize’. The Ministry stands firmly behind all the efforts made in this direction, he added.

The distinguished gathering consisted of senior scientists, directors of national science institutions, awardees and 150 sciences students.