New Delhi, Dec 5: Private sector in India should come forward to support unheralded innovators in rural areas who are coming up with solutions to solve everyday problems but do not have opportunities to promote and market these, Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan said today as he inaugurated the first edition of the pioneering India International Science Festival (IISF) at IIT Delhi today.
“We need an inclusive approach to entrepreneurship. There is a lot of potential in the informal sector that the private sector too can tap,” the Minister said addressing delegates who have come from around the country to attend the five-day festival.
The National Innovation Foundation in Ahmedabad, for instance, has identified a number of grassroots level solutions that can be scaled up, some of which have been developed by innovators from tribal communities, he said.
Dr Vardhan said the value of scientific research to the country’s economy is estimated at between
Rs. 1 lakh crore to Rs. 2 lakh crore every year. “An independent study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research has shown that weather forecasts by IMD alone have benefited the fisheries sector to the tune of Rs 34,000 crore annually,” he added.
Describing the festival as a landmark event, he said, “IISF is not just another routine programme for three to four days. It is the stepping stone for realising the dreams of great leaders from the first Prime Minister of the country, Jawaharlal Nehru to the current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to make India a top country in the world”.
IISF 2015 is organised by the Ministries of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences in collaboration with Vijnana Bharati, the largest science movement in the country, with the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) as the nodal agency.
Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Ashutosh Sharma, and Director General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Girish Sahni, expressed the hope that the festival would go a long way in promoting Indian science and technology.
Vijnana Bharati President Vijay P Bhatkar and Sachin Mandavgane, Member Secretary, Scientific Programme Committee of the Festival, noted that a salient feature of the festival was that it had different elements from interactions between scientists and students to screening of award winning science films and documentaries to cater to people from different walks of life. A key goal of the festival was to take Indian science to the common man and build bridges between the lay public and the scientific community, they added.
Director of IIT, Delhi, Kshitij Gupta, welcomed the gathering and Executive Director of TIFAC, Prabhat Ranjan, proposed a vote of thanks.
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