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India to be model of global science, tech and innovation by 2047

India will become the model of global science, technology and innovation in 2047 and will be among top three countries in the field in 2030, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Director General Dr Nallathamby Kalaiselvi has said.

Talking to PTI, she also denied that young scientist awards have been discontinued and said people will see definitely see a multi-dimensional growth in the science sector in the coming days.

Kalaiselvi, the first woman director general of CSIR, established by the government in 1942, was in Bhopal to participate in the 8th India International Science Festival (IISF)-2022 which began on Saturday.

The theme of the four-day event is ‘Marching towards Amrit Kaal with Science Technology and Innovation’.

“In 2030, India will be one among the top three nations, in 2047, the country will become the model of global STI (science, technology and innovation). In 2070, the entire globe will accept that India is a ruling power (in science). Because this will become a reality in 2070, this is my strongest belief as a scientific researcher,” Kalaiselvi said.

Asked about media reports claiming that CSIR has stopped giving young scientists awards and prizes, Kalaiselvi said, “Nothing has been stopped, young scientist-related programmes are happening everywhere, at every level, even the students are called young scientist students, so everywhere science, researches and researchers are getting celebrated.” “If you feel that something looks like getting stopped, I think you will definitely see multi-dimensional growth in the coming days,” she added.

On women’s role in science, Kalaiselvi noted this is a critically, historically and scientifically important era wherein Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also said that in the ‘Amrit Kaal’ “we have escalated ourselves in science, technology and innovation.” The government of India has already identified that women in science can really do wonders and women have also started reaching various heights, Kalaiselvi said, adding that is why she got identified as a woman scientist. “Therefore, I am not here as Kalaiselvi, but as the recognition given to women in science,” she said.

Kalaiselvi, who is also secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, said when the country starts celebrating not only science and researches but also women in science, when it is trying to give women an additional support through a number of projects, “I think days are not far when India should be among the top three nations (in the field of science).” She said the CSIR was coming up with dedicated programmes for women.

On women’s participation in the IISF, Kalaiselvi said the participation of women is very unique everywhere and here as well.

The CSIR DG said she is thrilled to see the next generation, both males and females, coming forward in the field of science and it is no wonder that males are taking up the job farther.

“…but nowadays, girls are also coming forward and they have started sharing the responsibility not only in terms of family but also in science and technology, in the nation’s development, in maintaining and making sustainable growth, and development of India’s tradition and culture through science and technology,” she said.

Asked about the new innovations being showcased at the IISF, she said the participants are exhibiting what they have done and they have been told to make the CSIR community understand the critical challenges they are facing.

“I just told them (participants) if they are coming up with some kind of critical challenges that could really be addressed by scientific researchers, they can make the CSIR community understand.” Kalaiselvi said they have 37 labs across the nation and they will be able to find solutions through them.

“If we are getting five to ten issues faced by these people and if we are able to solve one out of it, that will be a success of this kind of an event,” she said.

On the future CSIR programmes, she said, “The country is getting ready for 2047 (Amrit Kaal period). We in the CSIR are already geared up for 2030. So from 2030 we will move to 2042, which is our 100th year, then we will move to 2047.” PTI

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