On august 19, 30 eminent scientists from various top institutions in India met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that India must become self-reliant in the field of medical equipment manufacturing.
According to a PMO release, several scientists made presentations on the progress made by India in various fields of science in the course of the interaction which lasted for over two and a half hours.
Appreciating the work done by them, Modi called upon the scientific community to work towards solving the problems faced by India, including in the emerging critical areas of energy and water.
Modi described the task of cleaning up the rivers, including the Ganga, as a "scientific project" and said it was a challenge for Indian scientists to come up with innovative solutions to achieve the goal.
Referring to healthcare, he said Indian scientists must address the unique healthcare needs and challenges that confront the country. He mentioned the prevalence of malnutrition and the disease of sickle-cell anemia in certain tribal areas.
Calling for overlapping traditional knowledge with modern systems, he said India must become self-reliant in medical equipment manufacturing. Describing solar energy as the ultimate solution to India's energy problems, the prime minister called upon the scientists to work towards developing more efficient equipment which could revolutionize the entire sector.
He asked the Indian scientific community to come up with ideas and concepts for global leadership in the context of the upcoming climate conference in Paris.
Recalling the axiom that science was universal, technology must be local, the prime minister called for innovations in the agriculture sector that would lower wastage of agricultural produce, and end India's import of agricultural products.
He said India accounts for most of castor seed production in the world but other countries import raw castor seeds from India and export it after adding value to it. Modi said Indian science seemed to be constrained by a silo-approach, which should end through greater coordination and establishing a multi-disciplinary environment for research.
Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan NITI Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya and Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India R. Chidambaram were among those present.