DAINIK NATION BUREAU
Noted scientist professor RA Mashelkar stressed on mind prevailing over mouth, while affirming that India is home to 1.30 million minds rather than 1.30 million mouths.
“India was innovative but had somewhere, along the way, lost this culture and the need of the hours is to regain that culture of innovation. We need to bring the scientific temper in order to help our nation develop. Education, research and innovation must go together in our universities. The incumbent government is moving rapidly towards initiatives like make in India, Digital India, Skill India and Start-up India which gives emphasis on inventing, innovating and making in India. Innovation is crucial for the progress of the country. The journey from invention to the actual product being placed in the market is a difficult one,” he said.
Dr Mashelkar, the former DG of CSIR and now the president of Global Research Alliance, said that a world –class Indian innovation ecosystem would flourish if the three building blocks, namely talent, technology and trust, were in place. “These are critical .We have Indian minds which can create cutting-edge technology and they are doing it for multinationals. We have to give them charge to do this. Talent, technology and trust are the key drivers for innovation,” he added.
Research converts money into knowledge and innovation turns knowledge into money, he said.
Dr Mashelkar stressed on the need for new value systems and new policies for promoting the culture of innovation in India. “Innovation would have to include not just technological innovation but also policy, system delivery, research process, business model, workflow and organisational innovation,” he said, adding that what was needed was to go for democratisation of innovation, meaning innovation spreading to the grassroots.
Lauding India’s sterling achievements in technological innovation, the scientist said that India was the first country to enter Mars orbit in its first attempt and at a record low cost of $74 million as against US mission costing $ 671 million. Making high technology work for the poor should be the aim of these innovations, he stressed. “Despite income inequality, we have to ensure access equality”. He also stressed the need for “affordable excellence” while opining that innovations should be ten times better and also ten times cheaper.
“It is only this innovative India that will signal to the rest of the world, that we are not a hesitant nation, unsure of our place in the new global order, but a confident one, that is raring to go and be a leader in the comity of nations,” he said.
He lauded the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his strong inclination for bold policy innovations. This would accelerate the pace for India to become an innovative nation, he said.
Introducing Dr Mashelkar, Uttarakhand Governor Dr K K Paul said that he had played a leading role in ushering in a new scientific era into India. “Mashelkar valiantly fought and revoked the wrong US patents on turmeric and Basmati rice based on India’s traditional knowledge. He had 37 honorary doctorates and was a prolific writer and an inspiring speaker,” he said.
Other dignitaries including Additional chief secretaries Dr Ranvir Singh and Om Prakash, DG of UCoST Dr RK Dobhal, vice- chancellors of state universities and teachers and students of these universities were also present.