Addressing the Indian Science Congress at Jammu University, the Prime Minister said, “We need to increase the annual expenditure on science and technology to at least two percent of GDP. I would like to see continuous improvement in monsoon prediction capability in the wake of Uttarakhand tragedy.”

The University of Jammu is hosting the Indian Science Congress of the Indian Science Congress Association (a professional body of Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India) from February 3 to 7.

Elaborating upon the future government projects in the science and technology sector, the Prime Minister said, “We are considering establishment of National Geographical Information System with an outlay of about Rs 3,000 crore. Another national mission on high performance computing with an outlay of Rs 4,500 crore is on the cards.”

The Prime Minister, who is on a two-day visit to the city, further said, “India will partner with the international scientific community in establishment of some of the world's major R&D projects.”

The Prime Minister also said that this should be a combined initiative of government and the industry.

"In countries such as South Korea, where a high percentage of GDP goes to science, the contribution of industry is significant," Manmohan Singh said.

He appealed to the corporate sector to join hands with the government in "realising the goals set for the nation".

"I am happy that our department of biotechnology has activated private public partnerships in research and development," he said.

"India will partner with international scientific community in establishment of the world's major R&D projects. In the Gravitational Wave Experiment, India intends to host the third detector. A Neutrino-based Observatory is proposed to be established in Tamil Nadu at a cost of about Rs 1450 crore. India is also joining the CERN as an associate member," Singh said
Lauding Indian scientists working in the fields of atomic energy, space and earth science, the Prime Minister said India has occupied an "enviable position" in these fields.

"Indian nuclear scientists are attracting global interest in their efforts to develop a Fast Breeder reactor. I expect the prototype under construction in Kalpakkam to be completed this year. We will be one of the few countries with leadership in a completely new area of nuclear technology that can contribute to a non-polluting world.
"The launch of our Moon and Mars Mission are a testimony of the giant strides we are making in space. We have now the ability to issue alerts within 13 minutes of a tsunami-genic event," he noted.

"Our decision to set up a new Ministry of Earth Sciences following the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 and to invest in world-class tsunami forewarning systems in 2007 has been amply rewarded", the Prime Minister said.
He said the country's advances in meteorology were evident during the cyclone in Odisha, when "we received accurate forecasts of landfall point that were more accurate than the forecasts of well known international bodies."     

"I would also like to see continuous improvement in our monsoon prediction capability through the recently launched Monsoon Mission so that we can avert the kind of calamities that we saw in Uttarakhand last year", he said.
The Prime Minister also announced a National Mission on High Performance Computing with an outlay of Rs 4500 crore.
"We are also considering establishment of a National Geographical Information System with an outlay of about Rs 3000 crore. A National Mission on teaching to enhance the esteem of our teachers is also being launched," Singh said.
Batting for BT crops, Singh said while safety must be ensured we should not succumb to unscientific prejudices.
"To ensure food security and to improve and water productivity, we have to launch a national drive for an ever-green revolution."
Singh also announced institution of 25 Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowships, under which eminent scientists from abroad will be invited to work in India for 12 months over a period of three years.
Under this initiative, the government will give 1 lakh USD for three years to the fellows. The government has already selected five scientists, who are also the Fellows of the Royal Society, London, under this scheme.
The Prime Minister also urged scientists to learn from the past and connect with the present and focus on the future.
"Our basic research must be directed at new discoveries with innovative efforts to develop affordable solutions. Above all, our science should be a driving force propelling India as a resurgent civilization which holds out both hope and opportunity," he said.

This is the first time that the Indian Science Congress is being held in Jammu.

Recognising the role of scientific inputs in providing accessible and affordable healthcare programmes, the government has established a new department for Health Education and Research, the Prime Minister said.

"Efforts to discover drugs for neglected diseases are beginning to bear fruit. A Rota Virus vaccine, a new drug for malaria and many other leads emanating from collaborative research are all reassuring developments", he said.

"The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has leveraged Open Source Innovation for discovery of drugs and found a lead for TB.

CSIR has also ventured into the new world of data-intensive discovery and large data systems," he said.

Calling upon the scientific community to take a lead in the global erana, Prime Minister said, "India needs to leverage the ability of modern science to deliver value to society. We must also seek global leadership in at least some research and development areas".

"Affordable innovations for human healthcare, sustainable agriculture, clean energy and total solutions for water-related challenges are some areas where Indian science can seek global leadership", he said.

As the country is expected to have the largest population of youth entering stepping into the world of higher education, Singh said it was important to give more attention to science education.

"We must find ways of encouraging them to take up the right path that will provide them not only productive employment but also excitement in their profession," he said, adding the Gross Enrolment Ratio in Higher Education has more than doubled in ten years and now stood at 19 percent.


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