Stating that it is time for a quantum jump in Science, President Ram Nath Kovind said that we cannot make that jump without converting science into a mass movement – and without promoting tinkering and innovation as an everyday activity in our labs, our universities and even our schools.
Inaugurated the 4th India International Science Festival in Lucknow today, he said that jugaad, cut-paste experiments and frugal innovation have their role. Even so, if we are to transform India into a middle-income economy and an advanced industrial power, we need to upgrade the engines of knowledge creation, he added.
President said that science and technology are not a mere add-on – their cross-cutting nature and role in every field and in all our flagship programmes and developmental efforts have to be appreciated.
President said that the role of science and scientific innovation in our national developmental agenda is expanding day by day. In 2017, patent applications by Indian start-ups rose to 909. This was a 15-fold increase from the number in 2016 – just 61.
In 2018, he said that India’s R&D investments will amount to an appreciable US$ 83.27 billion. The government has announced the Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship Scheme. It will promote development through innovation and has a budget of Rs 1,650 crore for seven years beginning 2018-19. These are exciting times for science in India. The resources are now available. It is for our talent pool to respond, he added.