Continuing with the trend initiated by him of holding joint meetings of different scientific streams in order to break the silos and evolve a synergistic integrated approach, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today chaired the 5th joint meeting of six Science Ministries and departments, including Science & Technology, Biotechnology, CSIR, Earth Sciences, Space and Atomic Energy, wherein the Minister emphasised integrated Start-Ups and integrated R&D.
During the meeting that lasted over two hours, the Minister was informed that 214 areas requiring science/technology intervention were identified and mapped from 40 odd Line Ministries for Scientific Applications and Technological Solutions by all the six science departments including Space and Atomic energy.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the ever increasing requests from Line Ministries for scientific applications and solutions have vindicated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of involving Science Ministries and Departments to solve the technical and complex issues of General Ministries and Departments. He also called for evolving a holistic framework of budget sharing, while delivering scientific solutions and inputs to Line Ministries.
Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that in 2015, on the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an extensive brainstorming exercise was held in Delhi where representatives from different ministries and departments engaged in an intense interaction with scientists from ISRO and the Department of Space to work out as to how best the Space technology could be utilised as a modern tool for supplementing, improving and expediting infrastructural development as well as implementation of various welfare schemes.
The Minister informed that 32 Ministries and Departments approached for ‘problem statements’. CSIR will lead 20 challenge areas and participate in 46 challenge areas posed by Line Ministries as the entire exercise is being coordinated by CSIR. He also referred to different scientific applications for sectors like agriculture, food, education, skill, railways, roads, Jal Shakti, power and coal to name a few that have worked out since the launch of the initiative in September last year. Apart from other Science Departments, DBT and ISRO have also submitted their preference for leading in solution development/deployment for few challenges.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, on the lines of Central Ministries/Departments, 172 major issues have been identified by 36 States/UTs and 163 technology problems have been posed by States seeking solutions from 24 Central ministries / departments. He expressed satisfaction that within six months’ time, STI (Science Technology & Innovation) mapping exercise for all the 28 States and 8 UTs have been completed. He added that mapping of States, including NE was done in terms of innovation ranking, startup ranking, number of S&T Organizations, R&D labs, universities, Incubators, Start Ups, MSMEs, industries, Clusters, Grassroots Innovations, etc.
Dr Jitendra Singh asked all the Science Ministries and Departments to prepare in advance the agenda and themes of the breakaway sessions for the State S&T Ministers Conference to be held this year. He said, state-specific discussions could be included in the in the first ever National Science Conclave involving states, industry representatives and other stakeholders.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, before the proposed Science and Technology Communication Centre (STCC) comes into force, the success stories of all the departments must be compiled and disseminated to common people to create general awareness about India’s Scientific Prowess. He also directed that workshops on success stories must be organized at regular intervals.
The meeting was attended by Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, Secretary, DST, Secretary D/o Space, Secretary, M/o Earth Sciences, Secretary, D/o Biotechnology, Secretary, DAE, Secretary, Capacity Building Commission and representatives and senior officials of other science departments.