'India has an opportunity to become a major knowledge power in years to come', says President Mukherjee

New Delhi, Mar. 22 : President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said India with a strong scientific and technical manpower has an opportunity to become a major knowledge power in the years to come, and added that there is a need to invest in research and development to make this dream a reality.

"Best investment that a Nation could make is in her youth power. To capitalize the advantages of large demographic dividend and huge scientific talent pool, we have announced the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2013. The INSPIRE scheme will act as a catalyst in implementation of the newly announced policy," said President Mukherjee in his speech at the meeting with the recipients of INSPIRE awards here.

President Mukherjee told the students, who received the INSPIRE awards, that they are the future of the nation.

"Therefore, nation has chosen to invest into you. Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) is one of the significant investments of India into the youth of the nation. I congratulate the Ministry for taking the initiative. I am told that all of you who have assembled here today are selected from a group of over 5.2 lakh children who received INSPIRE Awards," said President Mukherjee.

"I am particularly happy to note that about 48 percent of the INSPIRE awardees are girls out of the total 8 lakh awards sanctioned since inception. I am informed that, you all have participated in the National Level Project Exhibition Competition and selected for State, Regional and National level prizes. You all have crossed many levels to reach at this stage. I congratulate each one of you individually and also as a group of young people, who are likely to write a new destiny for this nation," he added.

President Mukherjee said he has been told that some of your project entries are so amazing that the Department is processing a few of them for patenting. You have demonstrated interesting potentials.

"Some of you could become scientists, engineers, doctors and professional researchers. You could discover new facets of science, the way C.V. Raman, J. C. Bose, S. N. Bose and Srinivasa Ramanujan did. Discovery processes in Science would remain one of the most celebrated activities of human kind," he added.

President Mukherjee said India is a developing country and we need solutions to some of the most challenging problems of the society.

"We need to find new technologies for meeting our food, energy, water and healthcare requirements. India would need a new brand of solutions designers and this is where you all can contribute," he added.

Stating that INSPIRE aims to help the youth of this country to become scientists and researchers, President Mukherjee said: " India has started to invest significantly into Research and Development as well as education sectors. Several new academic and research institutions have been established during the last ten years. There will be new opportunities for talented youth to become researchers. Our industrial and agriculture sectors also have started to invest more into research and development."

"World over, Indian talent pool is respected. Several Multi National Companies have established their global R and D centers in India. In a way, R and D capability of India is just opening up for planned investments. These developments open up new opportunities and challenges to those who can dream, and sky is the limit for achievement," he added.

Recalling the Indian Nobel Prize winning scientists for their work done abroad, President Mukherjee said: " India is a country of billion plus minds with billion plus innovative ideas. If we can ignite these minds and convert few of them in reality, it will bring glory to individuals as well as to the nation as a whole."

" I am sure that the young scientists present here will transform India into a league of nations, which proudly owns patents of new discoveries and products and in the process, making India emerge as a knowledge economy with its own solutions to its necessities," he added.

President Mukherjee said 'it is the responsibility of the society and all of us to ensure that we as a nation capitalize on your scientific capabilities'.

"I am happy that the Ministry of Science and Technology, in collaboration with the schools spread all over the country, is engaged in this task which will be further streamlined with the e-management of INSPIRE Awards scheme. This is only one way of engaging the creative minds of the society," said President Mukherjee.

"We have to find many more ways to ensure that no creative idea in this country is left without being nurtured. This will ensure that we as a country are self reliant for our scientific and technological requirements and in the process we emerge as exporter of knowledge based products," he added.

President Mukherjee, who congratulated the INSPIRE awardees for their talent, hard work and devotion towards science, also complimented the Ministry of Science and Technology and all associated schools in helping the young scientists to realize their potential.

--ANI (Posted on 23-03-2013)

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