Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading the global climate movement and the World is ready to be led by India in its fight against climate change- a concern that like the COVID pandemic; knows no borders, respects no wealth or any other artificial human division. The responsibility to equip us to fulfil this leadership role lies on the shoulders of women and men of our scientific community. The Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh made this statement while addressing scientists at the Indian Institute of Petroleum at Dehradun today.
The Union Minister of State (I/C) Science & Technology; Minister of State (I/C) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that it was a happy coincidence on the World Environment Day that he was at an institution that represents the commitment of a modern and new India to protect the environment and find alternate indigenous sources of energy.
The Union Minister said that the last 8 years have witnessed the Indian crusade against climate change. We have already achieved our commitment of 40% energy production from renewable sources, way ahead of the 2030 Paris Agreement target.
Dr Jitendra Singh added that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is leading the global climate movement and other world leaders have followed suit. He added that apart from the thrust on renewable energy from solar and hydel, the Prime Minister announced major strides in Hydrogen energy from the ramparts of the Red Fort recently. The Minister said that this lays out the roadmap of our collective intention to fight for preserving the environment.
As a science researcher himself, the Union Minister said, one must speak with evidence. The Minister said that the project by CSIR-IIP for creating bio-diesel from waste cooking oil is one of many examples at the CSIR lab which demonstrate our national intent.
The Union Minister urged the scientific community to work towards making it a mass movement. Dr Singh said it must dawn on our people that they can make Rs 30 per litre from a waste cooking oil that they routinely throw out.
The Minister added that we know now that we throw out more carbon than we need for our energy. Innovative ways to use this waste would meet the twin goals of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and Make-in-India. The curiosity engendered in the masses would lead to awareness and that will lead to the application of science and ease of living.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that after a long time, the political leadership and scientific community are working in tandem. The government is guided in all its actions by scientific priorities. The Minister added that the Research community must come together with academia and industry to be useful to the common people in their fight to secure dignity.
The Union Minister called on the scientists to work closely with their stakeholders in government agencies and private entities. He said that it has become a practice in the Union Government to hold inter-ministerial meetings to create synergy. Dr Singh said that the atomic energy sector is a prime example of such collaboration. The Union Minister added that India is now a hub for the start-up ecosystem. However, he cautioned that we must not remain limited to IT-enabled services and that we must be open to the untapped opportunities in the Agrotech sector.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that it is clear that the world is facing a triple challenge: the earth is heating up faster than expected, we are losing habitat and species diversity; and the pollution continues unabated. He concluded by saying that, as we look towards the centenary of our freedom 25 years from now, we must work for the cause of generating clean energy cost-effectively.