Bangalore, January 8: The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu yesterday called upon the scientific community to find long-term solutions to the problems faced by farmers and improve crop productivity and farmers’ income. He was delivering the valedictory address at the 107th Indian Science Congress at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru.
The Vice President presented the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) Awards, Young Scientist Awards and Best Poster Awards to the winners on this occasion. The Chief Minister of Karnataka, B. S. Yediyurappa, the General President, Indian Science Congress Association, Prof. K. S. Rangappa, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru, Dr. S. Rajendra Prasad and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Vice President said that global warming and climate change were affecting the weather patterns in an unpredictable manner and causing massive devastation at times. He sought to know from the scientists whether the problems faced by farmers due to nature’s fury could be mitigated.
Calling for concerted efforts, Naidu emphasized upon the critical role of technology in enhancing both the quality and quantity across the agriculture value chain from the use of inputs at the pre-production stage to post-production and marketing to improve the income of farmers.
The Vice President, while noting how technology was making our lives more comfortable, said that at the same time new challenges were arising. He said science must find solutions to problems like increasing urbanization, pollution, urban-rural divide, growing antibacterial resistance, genetic & non-communicable diseases and water scarcity, among others.
Urging schools to lay the foundation for the spread of a strong scientific culture in the country, he stressed that such a foundation would become the basis for creating an ecosystem for creativity and innovation to thrive.
“The need of the hour is to foster the spirit of inquisitiveness, curiosity and scientific temper right from the primary school level”, he said.
Observing that there was a crying need for our universities and scientific institutions to promote R & D on a big scale, the Vice President called for expanding the academia-industry linkage to promote research and innovation in a big way. Technological innovation was a key driver in boosting economy, improving people’s lives and enabling better delivery of services, he added.
“India like no other country has a huge demographic dividend and can emerge as the innovation and knowledge if our universities and scientific institutions invest more on R & D and significantly the raise the standards of research,” Naidu stressed.
The Vice President also urged the corporate India to develop a symbiotic partnership with the universities and to identify and fund a dozen futuristic projects.
Opining that India was surging forward with renewed vigour and enthusiasm, the Vice President said that it must leverage the demographic opportunity with science and technology playing a leading role in driving the economic and social development in order to make the country a $ 5 trillion economy.
Naidu lauded the government initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India and Start-Up India that promote indigenous manufacturing, empower people digitally and wealth-creation through innovation. He wanted senior scientists to mentor and hand-hold the young ones to benefit from such schemes and realize their scientific and entrepreneurial potential.
While addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yediyurappa said that the farming community must be given utmost priority in scientific innovations so that farmers will get benefitted. He urged the scientific community to include social angle in their science research. He congratulated the University for Agricultural Research, Bengaluru for successfully conducting the mega science event.