Raise tech spending: PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday that India is joining the Cern, a premiere European organisation for nuclear research, as an associate member and will also be partner with international scientific community in establishing the world’s major R&D projects.
In his inaugural address at the 101st Indian Science Congress in Jammu, the Prime Minister said, “India is joining the Cern as an associate member. It will also be partner with international scientific community in establishment of the world’s major R&D projects.”
He added in the gravitational wave experiment, the country plans to host the third detector. Also, a neutrino-based observatory is proposed to be established in Tamil Nadu at a cost of about `1,450 crores. Union minister for science and technology Jaipal Reddy informed the National Innovation Foundation has recorded nearly 2 lakh innovations in the country over the past three years.
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, who also spoke on the occasion, while underscoring the need for synthesising science, technology and innovation for maximum benefit to mankind said that implications of science should be universal without any monopoly. He added that the global public goods like cure for AIDS or Cancer and diffusion of technologies to better and improve services and systems for the mankind cannot be patented.
The Prime Minister seized the occasion to pitch for more more funds towards promoting science and said that the country’s annual expenditure on science and technology should be at least two per cent of the GDP.
He said, “To do science, someone must pay for it. We must increase our annual expenditure on science and technology to at least 2 per cent of GDP. This has to come from both government and industry.” He said that in countries like South Korea, where a high percentage of the GDP goes to science, the “contribution of industry is significant.” However, the Prime Minister had all praise for India's scientists working in the fields of atomic energy, space and earth science and said the country has occupied an “enviable position” in these fields.