Indian scientists and technocrats have an important role to play in the "Make In India" initiative, said Union Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. He added that the importance of scientific advancement will not come at the cost of harming the environment.
"A terrific explosion of scientific energy is waiting to be tapped. The Narendra Modi government will channelize this into giving Indian industry a competitive edge in the global economy," Harsh Vardhan said, while addressing scientists and researchers at the North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) here.
Advertisement"I am here to convey to you the Prime Minister's message that we want a strong and developed India -but not at the cost of the Environment. The North-East is India's greatest resource of biodiversity, genetic resources, ground water and countless other treasures. Accordingly I have instructed NEIST to develop programmes for their safeguarding," he added.
Dr Harsh Vardhan also announced a project to document the impact of climate change on the ecosystems and biodiversity of the North-East region.
"I am in contact with renowned biologists all over the world who have pointed out to me the vital need for building up a database on the rapidly changing scene in these two regions. Accordingly, I am directing the scientists of NEIST to carry out a pilot study within a short time which will help local communities develop alternative systems," he said.
Calling for a social movement to bridge science and society, Harsh Vardhan further said that scientists should listen to local communities rather than patronizing them.
"The people of North-Eastern India are far more educated and aware than those of other regions. Among local communities there is tremendous indigenous knowledge. Such knowledge can propel scientific inquiry and also design solutions and adaption measures. So a social movement involving all stakeholders to document the changes already experienced in local ecosystems is necessary," he said.
"Scientists of NEIST must listen to local communities, not patronize them. There is much to learn from the North-East for the benefit of the rest of India," he added.