My colleagues in the Cabinet, Nirmala Sitharaman ji, Piyush Goyal ji, Dr. Harsh Vardhan ji, Principal Scientific Advisor Vijay Raghavan ji, Director General of CSIR, Shehkar Mande ji, all scientists, respected representatives and colleagues from the industry and academia!
The important meeting of the CSIR is being held today during a very critical period. Coronavirus pandemic has emerged as the biggest challenge of this century before the world, but history is witness to this that science has prepared better future ways whenever there is a big crisis on humanity. Finding solutions and possibilities during a crisis and creating new potential is the basic nature of science. This is what scientists in the world and India have done for centuries and continue to do so today. The scale and speed at which our scientists have developed an idea into a theory, carried out research in labs and implemented it and given it to society in the last one-and-a-half years is unexpected! This is perhaps the first time in history that such a great task of developing vaccines and giving it to the people within a year to bail out humanity from such a great disaster has happened.
It is the experience of the previous century that when any invention was made in other countries of the world, India had to wait for many years for it. But today, the scientists of our country are working shoulder to shoulder with other countries to serve the human race at the same speed. Our scientists developed the ‘Made in India’ Corona vaccine within a year and made it available to the countrymen. Within a year, our scientists made the country self-reliant with Covid testing kits and essential equipment. Within such a short span of time, our scientists discovered new effective medicines against corona and found ways to speed up oxygen production.
It is with this contribution of yours and extraordinary talent that the country is fighting such a huge battle. Scientists from CSIR have also made unprecedented contributions in different fields during this period. I thank all of you, all the scientists, our institutes and the industry on behalf of the entire country.
In any country, science and technology scale new heights when it has a better relationship, coordination and interlinking system with the industry and the market. In our country, CSIR is working as an institutional arrangement to maintain the same system of science, society and industry. This institution of ours has given so many talents and scientists to the country. A great scientist like Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar has given leadership to this institution. Whenever I have come among you and every time I have emphasized that when an institution has such a great legacy, its responsibility for the future also increases equally. Even today, I and the country, even mankind, have the highest expectations from scientists and technicians.
The CSIR has a powerful ecosystem of research and patents and you are working for many problems faced by the county. But today the goals of the country and the dreams of the countrymen are based on the foundation of the 21st century. And, therefore, the goals of institutions like CSIR are also extraordinary. Today, India wants to be self-reliant and empowered in every direction, from agriculture to astronomy, from disaster management to defence technology, from vaccines to virtual reality and from biotechnology to battery technologies.
Today, India is showing the way to the world in the field of sustainable development and clean energy. Today we are also accelerating the development of other countries and playing a major engine in the development of the world from software to satellites. Therefore, our goals should also be two steps ahead of the present. We have to prepare for the decades to come along with the needs of this decade. Even in the midst of finding solutions to disasters, we face pandemics like corona, but many such challenges may be hidden in the future. For example, experts around the world are constantly expressing a huge apprehension about climate change. Our scientists and all our institutions will have to prepare for these future challenges with a scientific approach from now on. We have to take the lead in every direction from carbon capture to energy storage and green hydrogen technologies.
You have laid a special emphasis on making better collaboration with the industry. But as I said, CSIR's role is one step further. You have to take the industry as well as the society along. I am happy that the CSIR has implemented the suggestion I made last year and started interacting with the society and accepting suggestions. Keeping the needs of the country at the centre, your efforts are also changing the future of crores of countrymen. For example, the country launched an aroma mission in 2016, and CSIR has played an important role in this. Today, thousands of farmers of the country are changing their fortunes with floriculture. Something like asafoetida that has been a part of every Indian kitchen for centuries, but India has always depended on imports from other countries for asafoetida. CSIR took the initiative in this regard, and today the production of asafoetida has started in the country. There are so many possibilities which turn into reality in your labs. Sometimes, you do such a wonderful thing that the Government and the Ministry are also astonished when they come to know about it. I have a suggestion that all the information of your institute should be accessible to the people. You will have to emphasise on helping somebody who wants to search about the research of the CSIR and wants to connect with you. This will also help your work and your products, and will also add a scientific approach to the society and the industry.
Today, when the country is about to complete 75 years of independence, obvious resolutions with a time bound framework will help us in moving in a certain direction with a roadmap. Corona may have slowed down the pace, but even today our resolve is a self-reliant India and a strong India. Today the country has enormous possibilities from MSMEs to new startups and from agriculture to the education sector. You all have to take the responsibility of fulfilling these possibilities and realize the dreams of the country. The role played by our scientists and industry during corona is what we have to replicate in every field. I am sure with your talent and the tradition and hard work of your institution, the country will achieve new goals at this pace, and fulfill the dreams of more than 130 crore countrymen. I had the opportunity to listen to your ideas; you were telling very practical things on the basis of experience. I would certainly like that there should not be any delay in meeting the suggestions and expectations by those who are entrusted with this task. Attempts should be made to complete everything in mission mode because you have spent so much time. Therefore, it is very natural to have a very good idea and the nectar that comes out of this brainstorming should be shared with the people through institutional arrangement and continuous improvement. I wish good health to all of you. Many thanks. Namaskar!