New Delhi [India], May 11 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday inaugurated the programme marking National Technology Day 2023 here and unveiled scientific projects worth more than Rs 5800 crore.
The programme also marked the commencement of the celebration of the 25th year of National Technology Day being held from May 11 to 14.
The projects unveiled are in line with Prime Minister’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat through the strengthening of scientific institutions in the country.
He dedicated to the nation the Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Visakhapatnam; Women and Children Cancer Hospital Building, Navi Mumbai; National Hadron Beam Therapy Facility and Radiological Research Unit, Navi Mumbai; Fission Molybdenum-99 Production Facility, Mumbai; and Rare Earth Permanent Magnet Plant, Visakhapatnam.
He laid the foundation stone for Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jatni, and the Platinum Jubilee Block of Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. He also laid the foundation stone for Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory India (LIGO-India). PM Modi released a commemorative stamp and coin on the 25th National Technology Day
During the programme, the Prime Minister also inaugurated the expo showcasing scientific and technological advancements made in India in the recent past.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that May 11 is one of the most prestigious days in the history of India and noted that India’s scientists achieved the stupendous feat in Pokhran which made the entire nation proud.
“I can never forget the day when Atalji made the announcement of India’s successful nuclear tests,” the Prime Minister remarked.
He stated that the Pokhran nuclear tests not only helped India prove its scientific capabilities but also gave a boost to the country’s global stature.
“In Atal Ji’s words, we have never stopped on our journey and never surrendered to any challenge that has come our way,” he said.
He underlined the importance of technology at every step and said India is moving forward with a holistic and 360-degree approach.
“India considers technology as a tool of the nation’s progress, not a means to assert its dominance,” the Prime Minister said.
Mentioning the futuristic projects inaugurated today, the Prime Minister mentioned the National Hadron Beam Therapy Facility, and Radiological Research Unit in Mumbai, the Fission Molybdenum-99 Production Facility, Rare Earth Permanent Magnet Plant in Visakhapatnam or the various Cancer Research Hospitals and said that it will give a push to the progress of the country with the help of nuclear technology.
Talking about LIGO-India, the Prime Minister called LIGO to be one of the foremost science and technology initiatives of the 21st century. The observatory will bring new opportunities for research for the students and scientists, he said.
Noting that it was the initial period of Amrit Kaal, the Prime Minister said that citizens have to make the nation developed and self-reliant.
Praising the theme of the event ‘School to Startups- igniting young minds to innovate’, the Prime Minister said that India’s future will be decided by the youth and children of today.
He said that the passion, energy, and capabilities of the children and youth today are India’s big strengths.
The Prime Minister said that more than 10,000 ATAL tinkering labs in 700 districts have become innovation nurseries. More importantly, 60 percent of these labs are in government and rural schools.
The Prime Minister said 75 lakh plus students are working laboriously on more than 12 lakh innovation projects in Atal Tinkering Lab.
This, the Prime Minister said, is a sign of young scientists coming right out of schools and reaching the far corners of the country and emphasised that it is everyone’s duty to handhold them, nurture their talent and also assist them in implementing their ideas.
He noted the hundreds of startups that have been incubated at Atal Innovation Centers (AIC) and said that it is emerging as the new laboratories of the ‘New India’. “The Tinker-preneurs of India will soon become leading entrepreneurs of the world,” the Prime Minister said.
Quoting Maharishi Patanjali on the importance of hard work, the Prime Minister said that measures taken after 2014 have resulted in big changes in the field of science and technology. “Startup India Campaign, Digital India, and National Education Policy help India in gaining new heights. The number of patents has increased from 4000 per year 10 years ago to more than 30,000 today. Registration of designs has grown from 10,000 to 15,000 in the same period. The number of trademarks has grown from less than 70,000 to more than 2,50,000,” he said.
“The India of today is moving forward in every direction that is necessary to become a tech leader,” he said, adding that the number of tech incubation centres in the country has grown from roughly 150 in 2014 to more than 650 today.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that India’s Global Innovation Index Rank has moved from 81 to the 40th position.
Drawing comparisons with 2014, the Prime Minister mentioned that the number of startups in the country has increased from roughly 100 to 1 lakh today and it has turned India into the third largest startup ecosystem in the world.
Noting India’s capability and talent, the Prime Minister pointed out that the growth took place at a time when the world is dealing with economic uncertainty.
The Prime Minister said that when we move keeping in mind the social context of technology, it becomes a powerful tool of empowerment, tool for removing imbalance and promoting social justice.
The Prime Minister recalled the time when technology was beyond the reach of common citizens and things like debit, credit cards were status symbols.
But today, UPI has become a new normal due to its simplicity. Today India is among the countries with the highest data use. Rural intent users number have overtaken urban users. JAM trinity, GeM portal, CoWin portal, e-NAM are making technology an agent of inclusion.
The Prime Minister said that the right use of technology gives new strength to society and the government is using technology for providing services for every stage of life.
The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the youth of India will lead the country in matching this pace and also crossing it.
He mentioned AI tools that have emerged as the new game changers, the limitless possibilities in the health sector, and new innovations taking place in drone technology, and the therapeutics sector and said that India must take a lead in such revolutionary technology.
Referring to India’s goal of a self-reliant defence sector, the Prime Minister mentioned Innovation for Defense Excellence or iDEX and expressed delight that the Ministry of Defense has procured 14 innovations from iDEX worth more than Rs 350 crore.
The Prime Minister mentioned initiatives like i-create and DRDO young scientists labs and said that these efforts are being given a new direction.
Touching upon the new reforms in the space sector, the Prime Minister said that India is emerging as a global game changer and highlighted technologies like SSLV and PSLV orbital platforms.
He stressed the need to provide new opportunities for the youth and startups in the space sector and also touched upon taking the lead in areas of coding, gaming and programming. The Prime Minister also highlighted policy-level initiatives like the PLI scheme at a time when India is increasing its presence in new avenues like semiconductors.
Throwing light on the role of hackathons in innovation and security, the Prime Minister underlined that the government is continuously promoting the hackathon culture where students take up new challenges and emphasized the need for hand-holding and creating a framework for this.
He suggested that an institutionalized system be kept in place to address the youth coming out of Atal Tinkering Labs.
“Can we similarly identify 100 labs in the country in different areas, which should be made youth driven?,” the Prime Minister asked.
Highlighting the special focus areas of clean energy and natural farming, the Prime Minister stressed promoting research and technology.
Union Minister for Defence Rajnath Singh and Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh were present on the occasion.
LIGO-India, to be developed in Hingoli, Maharashtra, will be one of the handful Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave observatories in the world. (ANI)
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