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मैं अपनी बात शुरू करने से पहले, सबसे पहले श्री वसंत गोवारिकर जो हमारे देश के गणमान्य वैज्ञानिक थे और आज ही हमारे बीच नहीं रहे। मैं इसी धरती की संतान और भारत को विज्ञान जगत में आगे बढ़ाने में जिन्होंने बहुत अहम भूमिका निभाई थी ऐसे श्रीमान वसंत गोवारिकर जो को हृदय अंतःकरण पूर्वक श्रृद्धांजलि देता हूं।

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour to participate in the Indian Science Congress. I thank University of Mumbai for hosting this Congress.

I had the opportunity to participate in the Congress as Chief Minister of Gujarat. I am delighted to return here after ten years.

I greatly admire the rich history of this hundred-year old institution.

I feel humbled by the work that scientists do. And, I find science and technology an invaluable ally in governance and development.

Human civilization has advanced because of the basic human spirit of enquiry and quest for understanding our universe and world.

It is a search driven by the belief in what our Vedas described as, Satye Sarvam Pratisthanam – Everything is established in Truth.

Science may be the product of human brain. But, it is also driven by the compassion of human heart – the desire to make human life better.

We have here with us Nobel Laureates, whose work in science has given new hope against dreaded diseases.

We also have one whose own understanding of social science gave the poorest a life of hope, opportunity and dignity.

Science and technology has helped reduce poverty and advance prosperity; fight hunger and improve nutrition; conquer diseases, improve health and give a child a better chance to survive; connect us to our loved ones and the world; spread education and awareness; and, given us clean energy that can make our habitat more sustainable.

A nation`s progress and its human development are linked to science and technology. In more recent times, China`s emergence as the second biggest global economy is in parallel to its rise to the second place in science and technology activities.

Science and technology can also remove national barriers, unify the world and advance peace. It can bring nations, rich and poor, in a shared effort to address global challenges.

But, we also know that it can increase inequality, make wars more lethal and damage our environment. Sometimes, we learn about their consequences later, as we did on climate change; sometimes, these are the result of our own choices.

For example, information technology was meant to increase efficiency and productivity; sometimes, however, its various distractions can easily overpower us! How often do we sit in meetings and cannot resist the temptation to catch up on our messages!

So, when we speak of science and human development, we cannot divorce it from the questions of political decisions; social choices; and of equity, ethics and access.

Human development has been the larger purpose and the driving force of Indian scientific pursuits. And, science has helped shape modern India.

At the dawn of freedom, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru placed science and technology at the heart of national development. Our scientists launched pioneering research and built outstanding institutions with modest resources that continue to serve us well.

Since then, our scientists have placed us at the forefront of the world in many areas.

Whenever the world shut its door on us, our scientists responded with the zeal of a national mission. When the world sought our collaboration, they reached out with the openness that is inherent in our society.

They have alleviated some of our most acute and pressing challenges of human development. They helped us overcome dependence on others for such basic needs as food. They have secured our borders; supported industrial progress; and, given our people a life of opportunities and dignity.

Our scientists put Mangalyaan in the Mars orbit in the first attempt - I must congratulate Radhakrishnan`s team - and their accurate prediction of Cyclone Hudhud saved thousands of lives; our nuclear scientists work for our energy security, and they have also placed India at the Asian forefront in cancer research and treatment.

Our achievements give us pride, but they do not blind us to the enormous challenges that we face in India.

We are at yet another moment of expectation and excitement, as we were at the birth of independent India.

There is a mood of optimism for change in the country; the energy to pursue it; and, confidence to achieve it.

But, the dreams we all share for India will depend as much on science and technology as it will on policy and resources -

To make our agriculture more resilient and yield more; to develop appropriate and affordable technologies for rural areas;

To do more from every drop of water; and, explore the potential of marine resources

To preserve our biodiversity; and keep our environment clean

To improve healthcare and develop medicines and medical devices that is within the reach of poorest;

To make clean energy affordable and its use more efficient;

To use technology to realize our dream of housing and sanitation for all;

To find our own solutions to make our cities cleaner and more habitable

To turn waste into wealth and resources for sustainable infrastructure of the future;

To use internet to improve human development

To make India a leading manufacturing nation; and a hub for knowledge and technology-intensive industries.

To me, the arms of science, technology and innovation must reach the poorest, the remotest and the most vulnerable person.

This is an enterprise of national importance in which each of us – Government, Industry, National Laboratories, Universities and research institutions – have to work together.

Too often, a discussion on science and technology is reduced to a question of budgets. It is important; and I am confident that it will continue to grow.

But, our own achievements have shown that very often a need and vision and passion are more important than resource for success.

And, it is how we use resources that will determine how effective we are in making science and technology work for us.

Our development challenges will naturally shape our strategic priorities in science and technology.

Even as we focus on some key areas, we should not confine research and development to a few pre-determined paths.

And, it is as important to focus on basic research as on research and development and innovation.

We should also recognize that science is universal, but technology can be local.

If we incorporate traditional and local knowledge, systems and technologies, we may develop more appropriate, effective, affordable and sustainable solutions that contribute immensely to human development and progress.

As the major source of science and technology efforts in the country, Government must do its part.

When I speak of ease of doing business in India, I also want to pay equal attention to the ease of doing research and development in India.

Funding proposals must not take too long to clear; meeting application requirement should not become more complex than research; approval process should not become a deterrent for international conference; and, our scientific departments must have flexibility of funding decisions based on the uncertainties inherent in research activities.

We want our scientists and researchers to explore the mysteries of science, not of government procedures.

We want them to consider publications, not government approvals, to be the epitome of their success.

We must also have clear regulatory policies for research and development in areas like biotechnology, Nano-Science, agriculture and clinical research.

We should ensure that our strong intellectual property regime continues to work effectively and provides the right balance between private incentives and social good.

Further, not just scientific departments, but every other department in the Government should see how to apply science and technology and promote research to improve their work. Each should have an officer focusing on science and technology relating to its area of work; and, allocate a percentage of its budget for such activities. We have begun this experience with Space technology.

Investments in science and technology activities should also become part of the expenditure on corporate social responsibility – to be funded directly or through an autonomous fund.

We also need to foster a strong culture of collaboration between institutions and across disciplines to take advantage of developments, innovations and expertise in diverse areas. My impression is that this is far from the ideal in India

I will ask our ministries to make collaborations a critical requirement for their institutions and for supporting funding requests for research.

We have to place the university system at the cutting edge of the research and development activities in the country. Our investments in science and technology are far too concentrated in the agencies of the Central Government and must become more broad-based.

Our universities must be freed from the clutches of excessive regulation and cumbersome procedures. They must have a higher degree of academic freedom and autonomy; and, there should be as much emphasis on research as on teaching.

In turn, the universities must also subscribe to the highest academic and research standards and accountability. This includes thorough peer review.

We have to rapidly expand our higher education sector; yet, our existing institutions face shortage of faculty.

We have a large pool of outstanding scientists and engineers working in central institutions and agencies. I want them to spend some time each year, teaching and guiding Ph.D students at a university.

Our industry must also step up investments in science and technology in its own interest.

India`s own pharmaceutical industry has carved out a place for itself in the world, because it invests significantly in research.

Indeed, our long term global competitiveness will depend not on replicating what others have done, but through a process of sustained development and innovation.

There is a growing trend of international collaboration in research and development, not just among business enterprises, but equally among researchers and scholars at universities and laboratories. We should take full advantage of this.

For this reason, I have placed science and technology at the forefront of our diplomatic engagement. As I have travelled abroad, I have personally sought out scientists to explore collaborations in areas like clean energy, agriculture, biotechnology, medicine and healthcare.

We have built excellent partnerships with all leading nations to address the grand challenges of the world today. I have also offered our expertise to our neighbours and other developing countries.

I have often spoken of skill development for our youth.

Our future will be secure and our global leadership possible, if we also prepare the next generation of world class scientists, technologists and innovators.

School education in science and mathematics should become more creative and stimulating.

Let us also use Internet to bring the best of our scientists in direct contact with our children and our youth.

Digital connectivity should become as much a basic right as access to school.

I welcome the initiatives of Department of Science and Technology for involving thousands of children and youth in science and technology.

It is not surprising that our young minds are winning international competitions and 12 of them have minor comets named after them!

Our children should seek role model in scientists as much as in sportsmen. Their parents should feel as much pride in their children seeking a future in science as in business or civil service.

For this, we need to communicate the power and possibilities of science better.

Let us, for example, make science and technology the theme of Republic Day parade in the near future.

We need to celebrate our scientific achievements as much as we rejoice in our success in other areas.

We should give young participants and winners in science fairs maximum public recognition and sustained support of the government.

I would personally love to meet the best of our young scientists.

In conclusion, let me say for a safe, sustainable, prosperous future for India; or global leadership in a knowledge and technology intensive world, we need to put science, technology and innovation at the top of national priorities.

I am confident that we can do it.

We in India are the inheritors of a thriving tradition of Indian science and technology since ancient times. Mathematics and medicine; metallurgy and mining; calculus and textiles; architecture and astronomy - the contribution the Indian civilization to human knowledge and advancement has been rich and varied.

We can draw inspiration and confidence from our numerous successes over the past six decades in difficult circumstances; the strength of our many institutions; and, India`s rich talent in science, reflected in the five distinguished Indian scientists, whom we have just honoured.

Above all, we must restore the pride and prestige of science and scientists in our nation; revive the romance for science in society; rekindle the love for it in our children; and, encourage our scientists - to dream, imagine and explore.

You will have no better supporter than me. In turn, I seek your help in transforming India.

Thank you very much, wish you all the best.

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Yoga leads us from negativity to creativity: PM Modi
June 21, 2021
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Namaskar!

Wishing you all a very Happy 7th International Yoga Day!

Today, when the whole world is battling the corona pandemic, Yogahas remained a ray of hope. Even though no major public events have been organized in countries around the world and in India for almost two years, the enthusiasm for Yoga Day has not diminished a bit. Despite Corona, the theme of this year's Yoga Day "Yoga for Wellness" has intensified the enthusiasm for Yoga among crores of people. I pray that every country, society and individual stays healthy, and let's all come together to become each other's strength.

Friends,

Our sages had termed Yogaas "समत्वम् योग उच्यते"i.e., remaining steadfast in every situation. They had made restraint a parameter of Yoga, being resolute in happiness and sorrow. Today Yoga has proved itin this global tragedy. In these one and a half years, so many countries, including India, have faced a huge crisis.

Friends,

Yoga Day is not the age-old cultural festival for most of the countries of the world. People could easily forget and ignore it in this difficult time. But on the contrary, the enthusiasm and love for Yoga has increased among the people. In the last one and a half years, there have been lakhs of new Yoga seekers in every part of the world. Everyone is trying to implement the first synonym of Yoga, which is said to be restraint and discipline, in their life.

Friends,

When the invisible virus of Corona hit the world, no country was prepared for it, from the point of capabilities, resources, or mental toughness. We have seen that Yoga became a great medium of self-confidence in the face of adversity. Yoga helped people to muster confidence to fight this disease.

When I talk to frontline warriors and doctors, they tell me that they also made Yoga their protective shield in the fight against Corona. Doctors also made themselves strong with Yoga, and also used it to help their patients recover quickly. Today, one finds so many stories from hospitals where doctors and nurses are teaching Yoga to patients, and patients sharing their experiences. The experts of the world are also stressing the importance of breathing exercises like ‘Pranayama’ and ‘Anulom-Vilom’ for strengthening our respiratory system.

Friends,

The great Tamil saint Thiruvalluvar has said: "नोइ नाडी, नोइ मुदल नाडी, हदु तनिक्कुम, वाय नाडी वायपच्चयल" i.e., if there is a disease, diagnose it, go to its root, find out what is the cause of the disease, and then ensure its treatment. Yoga shows this way. Today medical science also lays equal emphasis on healing and Yoga is beneficial in the healing process. I am satisfied that today experts from all over the world are conducting various types of scientific research on this aspect of Yoga.

Many studies are being done on the benefits of Yoga to our body, on the positive effects it has on our immunity. Nowadays we see that in many schools, children are being taught Yoga-Pranayama for 10-15 minutes before the start of the online classes. It is also preparing the children physically to fight against Corona.

Friends,

The sages of India have taught us-

व्यायामात् लभते स्वास्थ्यम्,

दीर्घ आयुष्यम् बलम् सुखम्।

आरोग्यम् परमम् भाग्यम्,

स्वास्थ्यम् सर्वार्थ साधनम् ॥

That is, by doing Yoga, we get good health, strengthand a long happy life. For us health is the greatest fortune, and good health is the means of all success. Whenever the sages of India have spoken about health, it is not only physical health. That is whythere is so much emphasis on mental health in Yoga along with physical health. When we do ‘Pranayama’, meditate andperform other yogic activities, we experience our inner-consciousness. Through Yoga, we experience our inner strength which is so strong that no problem of the world, no negativity can shatter us. Yoga shows us the path from stress to strength and from negativity to creativity. Yoga takes us from depression to ecstasy and from ecstasy to blessing.

Friends,

Yoga tells us that so many problems might be out there, but we have infinite solutions within ourselves. We are the biggest source of energy in our universe. We do not realise this energy because of the many divisions that exist. At times, the lives of people exist in silos. These divisions reflect in the overall personality as well. The shift from silos to union is Yoga. A proven way to experience a realisation of oneness is Yoga. I am reminded of the words of the great Gurudev Tagore, who said and I quote:"the meaning of our self is not to be found in its separateness from God and others, but in the ceaseless realization of Yoga, of union."

The mantra of वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्’, which India has followed since ages, is now finding global acceptance. We all are praying for each other's wellbeing, if there are threats to humanity,Yoga often gives us a way of holistic health. Yoga also gives us a happier way of life. I am sure Yoga will continue playing its preventive, as well as positive role in healthcare of masses.

Friends,

When India proposed the International Day of Yoga in the United Nations, the spirit behind it was to make this Yoga science accessible to the entire world. Today, India has taken another important step in this direction along with the United Nations and WHO.

Now the world is going to get the power of the m-Yoga app. In this app, many videos of Yoga training will be available in different languages of the world based on the common Yogaprotocol. It is also a great example of the fusion of modern technology and ancient science. I am sure the m-Yoga app will play a big role in expanding Yoga across the globe and making the efforts of One World, One Health a success.

Friends,

It is said in the Gita:

तं विद्याद् दुःख संयोग-

वियोगं योग संज्ञितम्।

That is, Yoga is liberation from suffering. We have to carry forward this journey of humanity, which is Yoga, by taking everyone along. No matter what the place, situation, age, Yoga definitely has some solutionfor everyone. Today the number of people who are curious about Yoga is increasing very much in the world. The number of Yoga establishments in the country and abroad is also increasing. In such a situation, it is necessary that the basic philosophy of Yoga should reach every person while keeping intact its foundation and core.And this work should be done by the people associated with Yoga, the masters of Yoga andYoga preachers together. We ourselves have to take the pledge of Yoga, and we have to connect our loved ones also with this resolution. This mantra of 'Yoga to Cooperation' will show us the way to a new future and will empower humanity.

I wish you and the entire human race the very best on International Yoga Day.

Many thanks!