developing scientific knowledge, says PM
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 05:19:20 PM,
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday urged developing countries
to put science on a pedestal and also stressed the need for
collaboration among scientific communities of these countries.
He asked the developing world to make a renewed and determined
effort to quicken the pace of developing scientific knowledge and
application relevant to its needs.
Inaugurating the 21st general meeting of the Academy of Sciences
for the Developing World, formerly known as Third World Academy of
Sciences (TWAS) here, the prime minister said: "We need to invest
in science. We need to invest in scientific infrastructure - in
our schools, in our laboratories."
"We need to promote an eco-system that rewards innovation,
creativity and excellence."
More than 350 scientists from 60 countries are participating in
the four-day meet, which will focus on the scientific achievements
Pointing out that the developing world was constrained by the lack
of well-organised systems and critical mass of expertise in its
scientific establishments, Manmohan Singh underlined the need for
collaboration among scientific communities.
"The problems we cannot solve individually, perhaps we can solve
by working together and pool in our knowledge, wisdom and
experience together," he said.
"The challenges developing countries face are similar, whether it
is in combating tropical diseases, transforming traditional
agriculture, or predicting and tackling natural disasters. These
problems of under-development do not receive adequate attention in
the advanced industrialized countries. Nor should we expect others
to solve our problems for us," he said.
Stating that the path of development followed by the
industrialised countries has the potential to threaten human
existence and way of life, Manmohan Singh said only science can
provide an alternative and more sustainable way of developing
societies and economies without injuring and destroying the
natural bounty of Mother Earth.
"If we can find such a path - that does not unduly constrain our
ability to deal effectively and quickly with basic challenges of
development, then we should follow it in our enlightened
Stating that the impact of climate change is most devastating in
the developing world, he noted that many of the scientific
processes in the area were dominated by scientists from the
He underlined the need for the concerns of developing countries to
be voiced more forcefully.
"As governments we are trying to create greater synergy and
coherence in policies among developing countries, but these
efforts must be backed by solid technical inputs."
He felt the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World can play
a very important role in providing space where scientific
collaboration on critical areas such as climate change can be
Manmohan Singh called for addressing the issue of sharing of
intellectual property rights, saying it sometimes bedevils
collaboration on research with relatively immediate commercial
The prime minister said India had committed $40 million towards an
Open Source Drug Discovery project of the Council for Scientific
and Industrial Research in India that facilitates collaboration by
providing a platform for the mutual sharing of research results,
which may be used freely by any participant.
An equivalent amount of funding would be raised from international
agencies and philanthropists. The project has already made
available the complete sequencing of the Mycobacterium
tuberculosis genome, he said.
The prime minister said India had been a strong advocate of
South-South Cooperation on challenges facing the developing world.
The India-Brazil-South Africa Forum provides a unique framework of
cooperation among three major democracies from three different
"With Africa, we ushered in far-reaching initiatives to strengthen
our development partnership following the India-Africa Forum
Summit held in New Delhi in 2008, including in the areas of
science and technology," he noted.
"India has offered more than 400 scholarships through a specific
fellowship named after the Indian Nobel Laureate Dr. C.V. Raman,
which will provide support to African researchers and
post-doctoral fellows in the field of scientific research."
"To strengthen the institutional framework in science and
technology, India has offered to strengthen three institutions in
Africa engaged in research activities, which have cross-cutting
impact across the African continent," he said.
Minister for Science Prithviraj Chavan, Andhra Pradesh Governor
E.S.L. Narasimhan and Chief Minister K. Rosaiah were also present.
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