In his address at the inauguration of the 9th India International Science Festival (IISF), Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh emphasized the need for finding indigenous solutions to address the challenges unique to India. He highlighted India's position at the forefront of developed and scientifically advanced nations and urged scientists to lead with innovative solutions rather than following global precedents.
Singh pointed out three significant achievements from the last decade that showcased India's prowess in science and technology—Chandrayaan-3's planned landing on the moon's south pole, the development of the first DNA vaccine for COVID-19, and the successful implementation of the Aroma Mission.
Expressing confidence in India's scientific capabilities, Singh declared that the nation is prepared to take a giant leap in scientific acumen and technological prowess by 2024. He urged scientists to align their efforts with the country's needs, reinforcing the idea that it was time for India to lead in problem-solving rather than emulating other nations.
Singh highlighted five pivotal decisions made under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, including space reforms through public-private partnerships, the National Quantum Mission, the Anusandhan-National Research Foundation (NRF), the National Geospatial Policy, and the National Education Policy (NEP). These decisions, he believes, will significantly contribute to India's development, aiming for a developed nation status by 2047.
The minister shared insights into India's space economy, which currently stands at eight billion dollars and is projected to grow to 40 billion dollars by 2040. Notably, international observers, including the recent Arthur D Little Report, suggest the potential for India to achieve a space economy of 100 billion dollars by 2040.
The event, held at the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI)-Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB) campus, saw the participation of key figures such as Haryana Minister Moolchand Sharma, Principal Scientific Advisor A K Sood, and various government officials. Sharma acknowledged the significant contributions of industries in Haryana to the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission. The India International Science Festival, initiated in 2015, is organized by Vijnana Bharati and receives support from central government departments and the Haryana government.