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99th Science Congress
Public-pvt partnership to boost research in 12th five-year plan
Suresh Dharur/TNS

Bhubaneswar, January 4
The 12th five-year plan, whose period is just about four months away, will see a significant focus on promotion of science and technology and public-private partnership in research areas.

“The science and technology sector will occupy the centrestage in the 12th five-year plan. We are aiming to propel India from poor economy to middle economy status. By the end of the plan period, we aim to achieve remarkable growth in per capita income,” member of the Planning Commission Dr K Kasturirangan said.

He was speaking at a panel discussion on ‘science policy making’ at the ongoing 99th Science Congress here.

The draft policy would suggest a significant increase in the state spending on S&T, from the current 0.9 per cent of GDP to 2 per cent, the noted space scientist said. This is in tune with PM Manmohan Singh’s call for a significant increase in R&D spending and catching up with competitors like China.

He said special programmes would be started to nurture students for science and private industries would be asked to increase funding for research and development.

There would be more public funding in research, Dr Kasturirangan said.

The science policy is expected to increase employment through manufacturing sector, harness young talent pool, encourage participation in research and increase industry-academia interaction, he said.

Dr VM Katoch, Director General (DG) of Indian Council of Medical Research, said the 12th five-year plan must focus on health for all.

Dr S Ayyappan, Director General of Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), said there was a need for de-bureaucratisation of procedures.

Dr Samir K Brahmachari, Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), said the education system should be more flexible and the youth should be given bigger responsibility to guide scientific projects.




Koraput tribals’ agricultural practices hailed
Tribune News Service

Bhubaneswar, January 4
Koraput tribals have earned a pride of place because of their unique efforts. Representatives of the tribal community were felicitated by scientists at the ongoing 99th Science Congress here.

The honour was in recognition of their contribution to conservation of bio-diversity and development of climate-resilient farming systems.

Raita Mudill and Chandra Pradhan - two tribals from Koraput district, were felicitated for their global achievement in application of traditional knowledge systems.

They were given certificates of appreciation by PM Manmohan Singh. The tribals hailing from Orissa’s most backward district received the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) citation of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).




Make your home graft-free, Kalam tells students
Tribune News Service

Bhubaneswar, January 4
Joining the debate on corruption, former President APJ Abdul Kalam today said efforts to eradicate corruption must begin from home.

Using the Indian Science Congress forum to air his views on the raging issue, Kalam -- inaugurating the Children’s Science Congress on the sidelines of the 99th Indian Science Congress -- appealed to students to work towards making their homes free from corruption. However, he did not elaborate.

In his inimitable style, Kalam engaged the students in a lively conversation and administered a pledge to them to seek excellence in the field of science and technology and become unique citizens.

Replying to a question from a student on how he managed to balance science and politics when he was the country’s President, he said: "Science needs lots of money and money comes from politicians."

Kalam faced some difficult questions as well. He was stumped by a question on why India spends so much money on missiles and other defence programmes while millions of people have no food to eat.

“I personally feel science is for people and who have the capacity to do that,” he replied, avoiding a direct answer to the question. Fielding questions about science, space and missile technology, the former President said, "The Earth, Moon and Mars will become economic entities in the next three decades and we will be seeking lot of things from there."

Over 12,000 delegates, including scientists and students, are participating in the five-day event being held at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology University.





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