Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu said that the nation must leverage the talents and skills of the young and educated by realizing the demographic advantage of having 65 per cent of the population below the age of 35 years. This is the most appropriate time for India to leverage the opportunity and leap frog in development parameters by overcoming challenges such as poverty, hidden hunger and economic inequalities, he said, while addressing the gathering after presenting the National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI) and Elsevier awards 2018 aimed at promoting scientific excellence among youngsters, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
Naidu said that the Indian Science fraternity must play a pivotal role and make India one of the top nations in Science & Technology to improve people's lives. 'Advancement of Science and Technology and an inclusive approach to development is crucial in addressing challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, gender discrimination and others', he said and added that a nation cannot become developed unless these issues are addressed.
Vice President called upon the young scientists to find solutions to the present and emerging challenges faced by the world such as climate change, global warming, sustainable development, clean energy and water and diseases. 'Only science can throw up solutions for the present and emerging problems in the years to come. The onus lies on the shoulders of the young scientific community to look for a way out for such pressing tribulations', he said.
Vice President appealed to various corporate bodies and industries to promote scientific research in the country in a big way by creating an exclusive corpus for encouraging innovative R & D projects and disruptive technologies that could provide long-lasting answers to problems faced by the people.
At the same time, he also called for enhanced investments in Science & Technology to support innovations which would address issues relating to agriculture, environment, health, housing, clean drinking water and security, among others.
Saying that the children and youth must develop scientific attitude, starting from school days, the Vice President stressed the need to create the right eco-system in universities and scientific institutions for research to thrive. He added that there was every need to kindle interest in science among school children by adopting innovative teaching methods. He opined that as a growing nation, India cannot afford to ignore the importance of rankings of educational institutions. 'While we have seen significant growth in research activities across India, our universities are still not able to feature in top 100 due to a variety of reasons', he added. He said that one must understand that there is a direct correlation between competitiveness and excellence, at the same time we need to focus on the societal impact of the scientific activities as well.
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