Science-related ministries will hold brainstorming sessions with other departments soon: Jitendra

New Delhi, Jul 21 (PTI) Science-related ministries will hold brainstorming sessions with other ministries and departments of the central government soon to enhance collaboration in the field of research and development, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday.

Singh, who holds the portfolios of Science and Technology, and Earth Sciences, said that while different science-related ministries are making note-worthy contributions to nation building, they should not be working in isolation.

The COVID-19 “pandemic taught us more about the value of coordination and collaboration not just at the domestic level but also on a global scale,” he said.

“Very soon, a new exercise will be initiated to hold brainstorming sessions with each of the ministries and departments of the Government of India with the Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of Earth Science and CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research),” he said.

The minister was speaking after releasing a report on international S&T cooperation prepared under the leadership of Anil Kakodkar, a former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India.

Singh said that five years ago, on the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an extensive brainstorming exercise was held in the national capital where representatives from different ministries and departments engaged in an intense interaction with scientists from ISRO and the Department of Space.

The purpose behind the exercise was to work out how best space technology could be utilised as a modern tool for supplementing, improving and expediting infrastructural development as well as implementation of various welfare schemes.

Following this, space technology is now being used in diverse sectors, including railways, roads and bridges, medical management and telemedicine, procurement of timely utilisation certificates, disaster forecast and management, Singh said.

He said India is already a global power so far as science and technology is concerned, but at the same time he called for streamlining and exploiting the huge untapped potential in tune with the prime minister’s mandate that scientific endeavour should be citizen-centric.

He said diversification should be taken as an advantage as very few countries are endowed with diverse resources.

Singh said today India has S&T cooperation with 44 countries and this list will be expanded in the coming days and months. He also called for subject-based, rather than ministry-based, projects to achieve fruitful outcomes within stipulated time.

The minister also underlined the need for bringing more and more domain experts in international cooperation and at the same time remain deeply connected with domestic arena.

He said, We have to go beyond the realm of S&T to achieve the true potential of such cooperation.”

Singh said science and technology is key to achieve Prime Minister Modi’s mission of an Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India). He added that the confidence of self-reliance will percolate down to the next generation and will help in attracting the best brains in the field of science and technology.