Delhi: July 5, 2010: India today is at a threshold of opportunity of quantum jump in its quest to create and utilize knowledge for significantly enhancing both its knowledge as well as economic power. We need to focus beyond HRD and seriously engage in creating environment for knowledge creation and creative innovations in our institutions of higher learning to empower India’s youth to make India the Knowledge Power of the World, said Shri. Tejendra Khanna, Lt. Governor Delhi and Chancellor, Delhi Technological University (DTU) while inaugurating a national seminar on “India – A Knowledge Society”, jointly organized with Society for Technology and National Development (STAND) at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
In his inaugural address, Lt. Governor Delhi further emphasized on adopting a holistic view and a highest level of commitment in whatever we do. “Indians are endowed with high intellectual capability and are endowed with imagination and intuitive faculty which is recognized globally. What is needed is to create hardcore ethical professionals, who can add value to the society by their unclenching faith in fairness and transparency”, he said. Delivering the keynote address, Dr. S.K. Brahmachari, Director General, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) presented the success story of the CSIR initiative on Open Source Innovation for Targeted Drug Delivery and innovative drug development. “We must learn to pool together the innovative genius of the talented minds around the world to create portals for collaborative research and innovations to create innovation infinite in India”, said Dr. Brahmachari.
Joining the seminar through video-conferencing from Pune, Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, former Director General, CSIR, presented a ten-point agenda to create as well as translate knowledge into wealth and service to the society. This can best be done by imbibing the principles of inclusive research and innovation. “The ultimate beneficiaries of our research and innovation have to be the 800 million people at the bottom of the pyramid to build India as a strong knowledge and economic power”, he added. The seminar was also addressed by Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, Father of India’s Green Revolution, through a pre-recorded address through the EDUSAT Team of DTU in the morning of the seminar. Dr. Swaminathan was of the view that we need to cause the “Second Green Revolution” by launching a powerful innovation movement through science and technology inputs. He expressed a serious concern that the benefits of the First Green Revolution are being washed away because of our neglect of scientific inputs to the farmers where uncontrolled use of pesticides and fertilizers has seriously eroded the soil fertility.
Speaking on the occasion, Sh. P.K. Tripathi, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Govt. of NCT of Delhi opined that the Government of Delhi is committed to transform Delhi into the Knowledge Capital of India. We recognize that it is the right time “to encourage new ideas, innovations and new product development in our institutions of higher learning”. The establishment of DTU and IIIT Delhi is a step in this direction. He however emphasized that there is a need for a greater synergy between academia and industry to ensure that the benefits of research and innovations reach to the society without the time gap between the laboratories and industrial production. The seminar was also addressed by Dr. S.K. Chopra, Director STAND.
The seminar also included a panel discussion moderated by Prof. P.B. Sharma, Vice Chancellor, DTU to deliberate on various aspects of developing India as a Knowledge Society. The eminent panelist included Dr. Ashok Chandra, former Education Advisor, Govt. of India, Dr. Asis Dutta, former Vice Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Shri K.L. Chugh, Former Chairman, ITC, Shri Rajendra Pawar, Chairman NIIT, Sh. Anjan Das, Sr. Director, CII and Sh. Pankaj Aggarwal, IAS among others. It was concluded that we need to launch a national mission for developing India into a Knowledge Society. This national mission must be supported by the establishment of a strong knowledge gateway through the national knowledge mission, powerful innovation movement sweeping institution of higher learning and R&D organizations across the country and empowering youth with the power of knowledge and innovation. The panel however cautioned that the national mission must be led by the visionary statesman and leaders from scientific and technological community. The panel also voiced its concern about the national and global risk associated with a transparent knowledge society. This however, could be tackled by building a sound base of moral and ethical commitment in people across the board including the youth. We need to, therefore, integrate values into education and research eco-systems in our country. This need to be given a national priority as the ICT revolution is sweeping the global community.
A Special Issue of 2010 STAND was also released by the Chief Guest, which includes articles of distinguished luminaries like Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, Dr. Sam Pitroda, Dr. R.A. Mashelkar and Prof. C.N.R. Rao, to mention some. Prof. P.B. Sharma, Vice Chancellor, DTU, and Dr. S.K. Chopra, Director, STAND were also present on the occasion.
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