Dr Harsh Vardhan took over as Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences here in New Delhi today. Addressing Media persons he said “Today is World Science Day for Peace and Development – a time to renew our pledge to consolidate the bridge between science and society. He said I am overwhelmed by the significance of this being my first day in my new office being a man of science myself and having as my life’s mission reaching the benefits of scientific research for the benefit of the common man,”. He said that he would endeavour to infuse new energy into the research institutions of the government. One of his first activities would be to make the forthcoming 102nd session of the Indian Science Congress, the country’s oldest forum of scientists, a success. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which is the world’s largest network of public-funded R&D institutions, need to be oriented to the Prime Minister’s “Make in India” programme.
Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “I will visit the institutions and talk to the scientists and other staff there to understand what can be done to make them more vibrant so that the outcome of their research is more accepted by Indian industry.” The Minister said the Department of Earth Sciences is to play a significant role in developing India’s self-sufficiency in knowledge systems. “I will put research into better monsoon and weather prediction and all other activities into mission mode”, he said. The Department of Biotechnology’s activities are of special interest to the Minister as he is a medical professional. Dr Harsh Vardhan pointed out that the need of the hour is robust research into disease prevention and cure using the most modern developments. Indian biotechnologists are considered one of the best in the world and are staffing the major research institutions abroad. It was time such talent was harnessed for development of India’s fight against the communicable and non-communicable disease burden. Dr Harsh Vardhan added, “Transparency and efficiency improved manifold in the government health system and this was acknowledged by even international institutions working in the Indian health sector. It is time to move on to implementing his larger mission of making India reliant and self-sufficient in science and technology.”