he government will set up 30 science, technology and innovation (STI) hubs in different parts of the country for Scheduled Tribes (STs) by the end of 2022 to promote scientific talent among the tribal communities and for their overall socio-economic development.
“Out of the 75 proposed STI hubs for SCs/STs, 20 have already been established by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), which will directly benefit 20,000 people through various interventions spreading across farm, non-farm and other allied livelihood sectors,” said Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, while inaugurating the ‘Tech NEEV@75’ as part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
Dr Jitendra Singh also reiterated India’s rising trajectory in the Global Innovation Index (GII) and said, despite the crippling effects of COVID-19, improvement in Global Innovation Index to 46 consolidates India’s place among most Innovative Economies with growing investments in innovation, scientific output and expenditures in Research and Development (R&D).
Ever since Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, said the Minister, India has been on a rising trajectory in the Global Innovation Index (GII) as it improved its ranking from 81 in 2015 to 46 in 2021. He said, the Scientific Departments like the Department of Space, the Department of Atomic Energy, the Department of Science & Technology and the Department of Biotechnology have played a pivotal role in improving India’s global ranking.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that “Tech NEEV @ 75” is a year-long celebration highlighting the impact of Science Technology Innovation (STI) in empowering community for creating equitable inclusive economic growth. The 75 hour programme includes experience sharing of beneficiaries, community change leaders, societal changemakers conclave and round table discussions by various stakeholders apart from compilation of 75 impactful stories on India’s progress towards Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.
The Minister said, on a broader front, “Tech NEEV @75” should lead to opportunities for land to lab research and building synergies with traditional, local and indigenous knowledge leading to new scientific developments that contribute to building resilient communities. He said, it is an appropriate and timely initiative of the Ministry of Science & Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences to showcase the strong foundation laid in the community for adoption of STI for better livelihood outcomes across the Country.
Referring to the Prime Minister’s Slogan of New India “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan”, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it reverberates the importance of Science and Technology in transforming the life of the poorest of the poor and developing affordable technologies. He said, the Speed, Scale and Spectrum of Transformation during the last seven years has placed India among the world’s fastest growing large economy.
Underlining the theme of “Vocal for Local” Dr Jitendra Singh said, while Science is universal, technology must be local for providing solutions relevant to local needs and conditions for addressing problems of affordable healthcare, housing, clean air, water and energy, agricultural productivity and food processing etc for Improved Quality of Life and Ease of Living for common man. He said, there is an urgent need for building the capacities and capabilities of community in harnessing the potential of Science, Technology and Innovation for sustainable development.
Dr Jitendra Singh informed that the feedback and his interaction with different beneficiaries/stakeholders of various programmes of the Ministry is a testimony of exemplary efforts made by the scientists of the country in laying a strong foundation for Technology driven system – one of the pillars of Atma Nirbhar Bharat – for adopting STI solutions that are resilient in themselves for creating sustainable livelihoods and technology led social entrepreneurship. He added that the confidence and capabilities shown by the beneficiaries and the change makers demonstrate the competences of rural India towards building a self-reliant Bharat.