Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Every year National Technology Day is observed across India on May 11th as a symbol of quest for scientific inquiry, technological creativity and translation of it into integration of science society and industry. The 2017 theme is “Technology for inclusive and sustainable growth”.
This day glorifies the importance of technological innovation and their successful commercialisation, thereby enabling the fruits of research to reach the people at large.
Reason for celebration– National Technology Day is being commemorated to celebrate the first of the flight test of Operation Shakti-Pokhran test which was conducted on 11th may 1998. Apart from Pokhran test, first indigenous aircraft Hansa 3 was test flown at Bengaluru. India also conducted successful test firing of Trishul Missile on same day.
How technology is connecting grassroot level innovation?
Whatever innovation and development is done, it should reach the farthest corner of the nation, benefiting the targeted as well as general beneficiary.
Here, innovation and development undertaken at the academic level are taken to rural people through local self-help groups, local NGOs and other rural organisations.
The idea is to identify technology needs of the region, available technology solutions, problems encountered in adopting the existing technology at the grassroots, identify R&D institutions which can improve the technology, assessment of the existing technology, find out solutions to overcome the technological problems, and adapt a rural technology through R&D institutions to suit specific conditions using local resources. Through this, local entrepreneurship development is also encouraged.
Any technology superstructure which strengths in applied research, technology development and R&D led innovation cannot be built without basic research. Directed Basic Research- This is an additionality to self directed basic research. Without basic research, which is the basic foundation for any innovation and development, there cannot be any progress.
Some of the noted and recent technological innovation
PSLV has successfully launched many satellite successfully in the orbit.
India’s light combat aircraft Tejas was induced into the IAF marking the culmination of many years of research and hard work.
Successful test firing of medium and long range of S-T-A missile which have been deployed by DRDO in collaboration with Israel.
ISRO also launched SAARC satellite for south Asian countries.
The SAARC satellite is a landmark for entire scientific fraternity. The South Asia satellite is totally indigenous and is going to play an important role in the sustainable development of the nations in this region.
India is taking a leadership role for this. This will benefit largely in connecting all neighbouring countries which will enhance connectivity apart from e-governance, telemedicine, tele-education and exchange of any kind of information, especially disaster related information. This pave a long way forward for India’s collaboration with neighbouring countries.
As PM said, this will go a long way in addressing the economic and development priorities of nations in this region.
Industry, Academia and technology
National Technology Day urged the industries to forge powerful partnerships with the national laboratories and to create knowledge network with academic institutions to promote research and development and to gain entry into global market.
A new category of awards called- start up award has been introduced to promote technology startups for development of new technologies having potential for commercialisation.
This is a strong step forward to transform technological innovation to derive solutions for basic needs and problems of people.
Whatever R&D is happening in institutions has to get translated into actual applications for benefit of the society. Until and unless there is translation of those kind of R&D work into product development, there is little chance of spreading scientific knowledge.
When the young researchers become entrepreneurs or venture into the startups, that will be one of the biggest achievement.
After this, the next step is a need of industrial involvement so as to take the innovation further. It is not only the startups which is step forward which his having all the state of art technology being transferred for the end users. The partnership between the industry and academicians is equally important.
Making technology inclusive
If the youth has to be empowered with latest technology and development, there should be connectivity and access to various research laboratories. This has to be undertaken at various levels, at various scales which need to be worked out sector wise. Sector wise requirements are different and tackled accordingly.
Once there is connectivity and accessibility, whether the population is in rural or urban areas, they are will be able to access latest technology based basic facilities like e-classrooms, telemedicine etc.
2010-2020 is the decade of innovation. The new policy is also called as science, technology and innovation policy. There are various initiatives such as:
NIDHI-National initiative for developing and harnessing innovation-it is aimed at building entrepreneurs’ ecosystem for wealth and job creation.
INSPIRE- It aims in identifying the students who have special acumen for science so that they can pursue their scientific career.
KIRAN- it is a Special programme for women scientists who are encouraged to pursue research in frontier areas of science and engineering, on problems of societal relevance and to take up S&T-based internship followed by self-employment.
Technology Development Board- it is a commercial wing of DST which commercialises and develops indigenous technology.
Thus, Technocrats, innovators and policy makers have a role to play. It is to be ensured that S&T doesn’t remain confined to select few sectors only. Progress and growth will be sustainable only if development for all will be overreaching growth.
Connecting the dots:
Critically analyse the importance and relevance of Science, Technology and Innovation in development of nation.