State Government Secretaries meeting held with renowned scientist Padam Vibhushan R. A. Mashelkar on IMPRINT India initiative
Padma Vibhushan Prof. R. A. Mashelkar, Former Director General of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) recently addressed Rajasthan Government Secretaries on the role of innovation in technology. The high prioritised meeting was arranged with Prof. Mashelkar by Mr. C. S. Rajan, Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan including other eminent officers like Mr. A. K. Jain, Additional Urban Development Secretary, Mr. Akshay Dixit, Principal Secretary, AYUSH – Government of Rajasthan, Mr. Rajat Mishra, Secretary- Skill Development, Mr. Sandeep Verma, Home Secretary, Mr. Ravi Shankar Srivastava, Principal Secretary – Science & Technology, Mr. Pavan K Goel, Principal Secretary – Higher & Technical Education, Mr. Kanjilal Meena, Secretary Elementary Education.
Prof. R. A. Mashelkar, Former Director General of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) said, “While Rajasthan is striving for growth, it has to understand a direct link between progress and innovation because innovation is the only key to achieve the dreams. We need to achieve not only inclusive growth but accelerated growth by integrating science and technology and it should be part of our development agenda for nation. Innovation has not to be just technological but also in policy, business and multi-sectorial. India has always been innovating and now there is a big movement in the country for innovating and accepting change. Referring to the vast innovative potential of India, he said, we are not just 1.25 million mouths, but minds also, so everyone can innovate.”
By using innovating technology, now India is producing low cost products for the people in some area. Pre-fabricated toilets costing only Rs. 10,000 each and more such products need to be produced on commercial basis for benefits of all class. While water scarcity is worry for the world and so is also for the Rajasthan, waterless toilets or toilets using less water can be the biggest innovation that can bring huge benefits to the state specifically in rural dry belts.
The meeting was focused on Central Government’s initiative of IMPRINT India – an acronym for IMpacting Research INnovation and Technology to kick start original research in areas where the country is independent on foreign technology. IMPRINT is aimed at developing a roadmap for research to solve major engineering and technology challenges. It identifies 10 immediate domains of focus areas - Healthcare, Information and Technology, Energy, Nano-technology Hardware, Environment and Climate, Water Resources, River Systems and Advanced Materials, Manufacturing, Security and Defence, and Sustainable Habitats. Under a defined structure at the national level there will be respective national coordinators and domain leaders.
While talking of the use of technology, Prof. Mashelkar suggested that at the state level Government of Rajasthan can use the huge knowledge base and resources available in Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur (MNIT) - one of the best centres of excellence for technological research and innovation, comparable to any IIT. Using this world class institution as resource, state government can explore IMPRINT India initiative at state level.
He further added, “Our emphasis has to be on making high technology work for the poor of the country, i.e. affordable innovation. At the state level 2% of the annual budget should be spent for technological innovation keeping in mind speed and scale.”