Country looks up to laboratories to find solutions to vexed problems: Dr. Singh

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Pune, Apr 1 (ANI): The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Thursday said the country's looking up to scientific institutions to find solutions to vexing problems confronting society.

Addressing a function organised to mark the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the National Chemical Laboratory, Dr. Singh said: The country looks up to its premier scientific institutions like the National Chemical Laboratory for finding solutions to some of the most vexing problems that confront our society and our development efforts."

"It is our scientific capabilities that will determine our ability to overcome challenges which lie ahead in areas such as climate change, clean energy, environment friendly technologies, water management, affordable healthcare, food security, and biotechnology," he added.

In his address, Dr. Singh underlined that the power and status of a nation in the world is determined to a large extent by its achievements and capabilities in the fields of science and technology.

He called on the scientists to align their priorities closely with national needs.

"Our scientific laboratories must align their priorities even more closely to national needs," he said.

"They must contribute to the creation of wealth in our society. They must seek and deliver appropriate solutions which would change the lives of the most vulnerable sections of our society," he added.

In his address, Dr. Singh also stressed on the need for instilling a spirit of innovation in the young generation.

"We need to instill the spirit of innovation in our young minds so that they could find solutions in a variety of areas to achieve the goal of inclusive and sustainable growth," he said.

"Innovators must be challenged to produce solutions our society needs. The solutions must be found in a timely manner, and must then move out of the laboratory quickly and gain wider acceptance," Dr. Singh added.

Expressing concern over the decreasing trend in students opting for science subjects at 10+2 level, Singh stressed on the need for bringing young minds into the research field.

"It is important to bring them into the fold of exciting and stimulating research environment of colleges and universities," he said.

"We need to improve the quality of teaching of science in our schools, focus on faculty development, increase our expenditure on science and technology from the current low level of about 1 percent of our GDP, and further strengthen academia-industry interface," he added.

Dr. Singh further said that the country's competitive advantage in the R and D sector maybe lost unless it is ensured that the country produces, on a continuing basis, an adequate number of competent and motivated young people who could lead national laboratories, science agencies and knowledge-based industries. (ANI)

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