National Technology Day: Urgent need to build an innovation ecosystem for startups, says Dr Jitendra Singh

Minister says, Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) is vital for strengthening science and society linkages for making S&T ecosystem responsive to societal needs

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New Delhi: The future belongs to the technology-driven economy, remarked Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh while speaking at the National Technology Day-2022 event, coinciding with India becoming a nuclear-empowered country after successful nuclear tests at Pokhran on May 11, 1998.
Emphasizing adopting an integrated approach rather than acting in silos, Dr Singh also stressed the urgency of creating an “innovation ecosystem” for start-ups.
India is already on the ascent; and science, technology and innovation will be the key determinants of the roadmap for the next 25 years when we celebrate 100 years of India’s Independence, Minister added.
Dr Jitendra Singh also presented awards to the seven most successful start-ups on the occasion. The awards are given for the pioneering work in Quantum data security, Covid-19 testing kits, A-I powered Robot for electronic assembly, Cryogenic technologies, and Cyber security systems. This award is given to a technology startup for developing indigenous technology with potential for commercialization. In addition to the trophy, the award includes a cash prize of Rs. 15 Lakh.
The Minister also presented awards to Women Scientists in Translational Research and Women Entrepreneurs, the National Awards for successful commercialization of indigenous technology, and the award under MSME category.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that both the startups and women entrepreneurs have a high priority for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) is taking all the steps to promote them to their full potential. Pledging complete support to the Start-ups by pro-actively reaching out to them, the Minister promised full financial support and even offered to change the rules to strengthen the support system.
Dr Singh also launched the Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) and Scientific Research Infrastructure for Maintenance and Networks (SRIMAN) guidelines on the occasion. He said that SSR as an institutional mechanism is a significant step to reach out to the widest spectrum of stakeholders of S&T with knowledge, human resources, and infrastructure to make effective use of existing assets for the benefit of society. He said, in tune with the spirit of CSR to earmark some profit for public service, SSR will enable sharing of knowledge and infrastructure.
Dr Jitendra Singh recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inaugural address of 104th Indian Science Congress, in which he advocated for SSR for engaging science for the societal welfare. Dwelling on the SRIMAN guidelines, Dr Jitendra Singh said, scientific infrastructure is the foundation of research and innovation, and facilitating its availability, accessibility, and sharing needs to become a key goal, particularly for countries like India with limited resources.
The Minister added that manufacturing of indigenous instruments to reduce dependency on imports is also essential along with human resource development for operations and management of Research Infrastructure (RI).
Dr S. Chandrasekhar, Secretary, DST, said, Guidelines’ scope extends to all Govt. scientific departments, research organisations, and grantee agencies that support development of Research Infrastructure (RI) and all the organisations receiving funds for conducting research and development. Private institutions can also be partners and/ or beneficiaries in such endeavours based on mutual agreement.
Secretary, Technology Development Board (TDB), Rajesh Kumar Pathak, said that after successfully conducting nuclear test in Pokhran on 11th May 1998, former Prime Minister, Late Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared India a full nuclear Country. 11th May is observed as National Technology Day is observed on 11th May every year to celebrate the achievements of scientists, researchers, engineers, and all others involved in science and technology.
TDB, a statutory body of the DST, Government of India, by the virtue of its mandate, honours technological innovations that have helped in the national growth under the aegis of National Awards from the year 1999.