While using self-reliance as the new mantra, India needs to prepare for a stronger economic recovery

While doctors and healthcare workers are getting wider public appreciation for their devotion and sacrifices during the time the Covid-29 has wrought havoc on people in India, scientists and researchers have also come in for fulsome praise by the government for responding to immediate needs of the country.

“Within a short period of time, the nation has been able to mobilize a number of researchers to develop new testing kits, protective equipment, respiratory devices and others,” Union Health and Family Welfare and Science & Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said while speaking on the occasion of the National Technology Day, celebrated across the country on May 11 to commemorate successful nuclear tests in 1998. The Union Minister was speaking through video conferencing.

Talking about Covid-19 task force set up to map the coronavirus related technology, he said: “Our Government has vigorously supported the ‘Make in India’ Programme. This has brought in scientific institutions and startups to develop the Covid-19 tests, masks, sanitizers, personal protective equipment (PPEs) and ventilators.”

Emphasizing on self-reliance, he pointed out that to mitigate the widespread economic impact that coronavirus has brought on the country, “we need to prepare for a stronger recovery using self-reliance as the new mantra. Thus, we look towards new opportunities to galvanize growth in the technological and industrial sector.” He also said that India is well-poised to reboot the economy through science and technology.

While delivering his special address, Dr. V K Saraswat, member NITI Aayog pointed out the importance of technologies like new-age technologies, medical and manufacturing technologies in boosting the economy as the world adjusts to the new normal.

Principal Scientific Advisor to the Indian government, Professor K. Vijay Raghavan, pointed out “how technology can change the way we live our lives and the way we do things in future, particularly so in the post-COVID era.”

Terming the current situation as one presenting an opportunity to gear up for the future, he said, “a better-equipped R&D workforce and ecosystem will prepare India better for future challenges.”

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Professor Ashutosh Sharma said rebooting the economy requires new age technologies, appropriate national missions, programmes and schemes to get into quick action.

He added that wherever readymade solutions are not available, research and development needs to be more profound, relevant, speedy, impactful and strongly connected to industry. The lessons learnt now would continue to assist us in addressing the overarching challenges of the future—sustainable development, climate change, industry 4.0, antimicrobial resistance and others.

IVD Bureau