Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 2- day Science Conclave of the Science & Technology (S&T) Ministers from all the States and Union Territories (UTs) at Science City, Ahmedabad on 10th September, 2022.
Announcing this here today after a high-level official meeting, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Conference this time is being given a different format with focus on new technologies relevant to each of the different States/UTs and their optimum application for “ease of living”. The meet will also help break silos between the Centre and the States, while strengthening Science Technology & Innovation (STI) ecosystem through greater synergy across the country, he said.
Science & Technology Ministers of all 28 States, Administrators of 8 UTs, key officials from States – Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries in-charge of S&T in the states and all Science Secretaries to Government of India e.g., DST, DBT, DSIR, MoES, DAE, DoS, ICMR, ICAR, Jal Shakti, MoEF & CC, MNRE and CEOs of over 100 Start Ups and industries are expected to take part in the two-day Science Conclave.
Dr Jitendra Singh informed that the two-day Science and Technology Conclave will have a new dimension as several action-oriented decisions will be taken and all States and UTs will be asked to have individual STI policy on the lines of National STI policy. The Minister said, in the true spirit of cooperative federalism, the Centre will assist States in formulating their State STI policies. He said, Centre will also work jointly with States to address their Specific STI needs, challenges and gap areas and evolve solutions.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that there is a need for States to be proactive in aligning their policies towards the larger goal of strengthening Centre-State coordination and collaboration mechanism to strengthen STI ecosystem in the States by promoting R&D, innovation and entrepreneurship. He said, States must be able to explore solutions to their local problems through S&T interventions and promised all help by the Centre in exploring such solutions by connecting them to knowledge institutions and experts. The Minister pointed out that some of the States and UTs have weak S&T base and institutional strength and therefore they must connect their institutions with central government R&D and academic institutions.
Dr Jitendra Singh shared with the participants that almost every State has S&T Council but only few are working proactively and therefore the need was felt to enhance STI engagements with States beyond S&T Council level. He said, mapping of STI Ecosystem has four broad indicators like knowledge produced within the system, diffusion of the produced knowledge within the system, interactions/linkages between the knowledge producers and knowledge diffusers and identifications of needs/priorities and challenges/weaknesses of the system. The Minister informed that the DST made an attempt to develop a ‘System Framework’ for mapping the STI ecosystem of the States.
Dwelling on the broad agenda of the Conclave, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it will aim at fostering proactive engagements between Centre and States in S&T, creating a mechanism to facilitate the flow of STI information and data between Centre and States, Capacity Building of Scientists, technologists and professionals from States in key technology areas. He said, Centre and States will work together to promote Private sector participation in the State R&D and will try to put in position a robust and long term “Centre-State coordination and monitoring Mechanism in STI at the highest level.
The meeting was attended by Member NITI Aayog, Dr. V.K.Saraswat, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India Prof Ajay Sood, Secretary, Department Science & Technology, Dr S. Chandrasekhar, Secretary D/o Space, S. Somanath, Secretary, Earth Sciences, Dr M. Ravichandran, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Dr Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary, Capacity Building Commission, Hemang Jani and representatives from Ministries of Health and Family Welfare, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Jal Shakti, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and MNRE and senior officials joined the review meeting.