The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, presented awards for outstanding contributions in science and technology at a function held at VigyanBhawan in New Delhi today on the occasion of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Foundation Day.Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the true test of scientific research lies in its ability to help our society accelerate socio-economic development in various areas of human life such as health and hygiene, sanitation, education and agriculture. In the long run, this ability depends on the extent to which the culture of scientific research and innovation permeates our society, institutions and enterprises.In his address, the President said “Science and technology is one of the key levers to achieve our national goals and to address the larger concerns confronting humanity today. We have set ourselves a goal of becoming a 5-trillion dollar economy by 2025. We are committed to achieving Sustainable Development Goals. We also wish to play our role in addressing global concerns such as climate change. To a great extent, our success in meeting these challenges would depend on our ability to find creative solutions based in scientific research”.The President also emphasized on providing equal opportunities for girl-children. He stated “None of our successes will have any meaning without equal opportunities for our girl-children. As President, I get an opportunity to attend convocations of Universities and academic institutions across the country.
In most of these convocations, I find that our girl students outshine the boys, winning most of the academic awards. We have to take the necessary steps to ensure greater participation of girl students and of women in science and technology. When this happens, our scientific achievements will become even more wholesome and more desirable”.The President also lauded the accomplishments of CSIR and its technological interventions towards the socio-economic development of the nation. He congratulated all the awardees and urged them to address the challenges facing the country. The President presented the CSIR Technology Awards to teams of CSIR and the G.N. Ramachandran Gold Medal to Prof.AmitabhaChattopadhyay of CSIR-CCMB.Addressing the gathering, the Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan expressed pride in CSIR contributions and said that the country has high expectations from CSIR in developing solutions and technologies towards sustainable development in the country.During the function, the Minister handed over a prototype of high temperature fuel cell, an indigenous technology, developed by CSIR to the President. The function also witnessed the release of the book titled “Bhatnagar Laureates 1958-2018”.Delivering the CSIR Foundation Day Lecture, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, Dr. K. VijayRaghavansaid “The drive, innovation, talent and quality of young people is the insurance of the country and one must try and emulate best practices in the world but not imitate them”.DG CSIR, DrShekhar C Mande in his opening remarks highlighted the need of Science to connect to Society and called upon the scientists and students to excel in pursuit of science.The event concluded with the announcement of the prestigious Shanti SwarupBhatnagar Awards 2019, the highest multidisciplinary science awards in India.