New Delhi: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today called for closer Centre-State coordination for technological solutions and science based remedies for State – specific or UT-specific problems and requirements.
The Minister was presiding over a high – level joint meeting of all the Science Ministries and Science Departments, in hybrid mode, at Prithvi Bhawan here. The meeting was attended by Prof. K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India, Dr. M. Ravichandran Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Dr S. Chandrasekhar, Secretary Department of Science & Technology, Dr Rajesh Gokhale Secretary Department of Biotechnology, Dr K. Sivan, Secretary Space & Chairman ISRO, Dr K.N. Vyas, Secretary Atomic Energy, Dr Shekhar Mande, Secretary CSIR, Hemang Jani, Secretary Capacity Building Commission and other senior officials.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an extensive exercise is being undertaken separately with each of the States and Union Territories to identify the areas where technological interventions can help in resolving diverse problems to enable ease of living for common man. He said, for instance the UT Govt of Jammu & Kashmir will be assisted through the latest snow clearing technology while Puducherry and Tamil Nadu are being assisted in restoration and renovation of sea beach.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that a series of meetings with State Governments are planned starting next week for Centre-State collaboration for ‘solution-based’ approach to identified S&T problems and to improve use of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in States and Local Governments. He said, Ministry will soon write to all Chief Secretaries along with a proforma for specific proposals or requirements by the State Governments and to designate a Nodal Officer for smooth coordination.
The Minister said, he is planning a National Science Conclave after completion of roundtable meetings with States involving Science Ministries and Departments from the Centre and all States and UTs to deliberate upon pressing problems facing India and effective Solutions for the same.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the move comes in the wake of success of such an experiment with Central Line Ministries and Departments, wherein 168 proposals/requirements were received from 33 Ministries for providing Technological Support & Solutions by all the six S&T departments including Space and Atomic energy. He said, concerned Science Ministries and Departments have started working on different scientific applications for sectors like agriculture, dairy, food, education, skill, railways, roads, Jal Shakti, power and coal.
With the help of Capacity Building Commission, Dr Jitendra Singh said, a template is also being prepared to take up theme wise deliberations between Centre and States/UTs depending on specific needs, from place to place.
It may be recalled that this unique initiative was launched by Dr Jitendra Singh in September last year, wherein representatives from all the Science Ministries including Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, Atomic Energy, Space/ISRO, CSIR, and Biotechnology separately engaged in extensive brain storming with each of the different Ministries in Government of India to work out which scientific applications could be utilized in which sector. The Minister had stressed the need for integrated theme based projects instead of a particular Ministry based or a particular Department based projects.
Pertinent to mention, six years ago, on the intervention of Prime Minister Modi, an extensive brainstorming exercise was held in Delhi where representatives from different ministries and departments engaged in an intense interaction with scientists from ISRO and the Department of Space to work out as to how best the Space technology could be utilised as a modern tool for supplementing, improving and expediting infrastructural development as well as implementation of various welfare schemes.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the solution approach of CSIR, must see extensive participation from the industry, and we must find ways to leverage existing capabilities of the incubators of DBT, DST, NITI Aayog and other departments, start-ups, and science management agencies of BIRAC, AIM, NRDC and others. He added that unless we bring all players together and identify point personnel and point agencies, we won’t be able to deliver comprehensive solutions to India’s S&T problems.