“Innovation for the people and by the people in the direction of new India” is what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while inaugurating the 107th Indian Science Congress (ISC) on 3 January 2020, at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bengaluru. PM Modi has been pushing Indian technological revolution since he was elected as the PM back in 2014. PM Modi has extended his support to young scientists in India by giving the motto of ‘Innovate, Patent, Produce and Prosper’, — the steps that will lead India to the gateway of the technological revolution and now he has launched I-Stem, which will help the progress of these young scientists.
The central theme of the 107th Indian Science Congress, which will conclude tomorrow, 7th January 2020, is “Science and Technology: Rural Development.”
The 5-day summit which started from 3rd January is expected to have participation from many policymakers, academians, inventors and politicians from across the globe. The summit will also welcome two Nobel prize winners, Stefan Hell and Ada Yonath who are expected to conduct lectures.
The main objective of the summit is to close the gap between tech-developers and farmers. A considerable gap still exists between technology and daily life in India, and the gap gets even wider when it comes to agriculture, which is the backbone of India. This summit is an attempt, every year, to further explore the benefits of technology by giving a platform to the farmers who have introduced innovations in agriculture.
PM Modi’s I-Stem Announcement
PM Modi launched I-Stem (Indian Science technology and Engineering facilities Map) portal, which will hold the database of all R&D facilities established in institution across the country and will enable their sharing among the researchers.
At present, there is no way for young scientists to gain access to the facilities (which aren’t available at their labs) required for their experiments. Before the launch of I-STEM, these young students would be required to seek permission from the universities to access the equipment, which is a tedious process. By the time a scientist gets a slot, it gets too late for their samples to be in an experiment ready position — I-STEM will make this process far smoother.
The portal will have a map which will allow them to identify the specific facilities researchers will require for their experiments. This map will show them the facilities which are closest to them with researchers able to book a slot for which they will pay through a secure payment gateway also known as SMS-based booking confirmation. They can manage the charges, make payments and schedule the time-slots without having to go through the tedious process of contacting institutes and talking with them.
This map currently has over 17,000 pieces of equipment worth several hundred crores over 427 institutions across India (including those of CSIR, DST, DBT).
On the portal, one can receive advice from a panel of experts from various fields of science, engineering and technology. This portal makes technology more accessible for researchers, especially the young ones in order to achieve a better outcome of their research and great success in the R&D sector.
This portal isn’t just for collaboration between researchers, but the portal also opens up opportunities for industry to share the R&D lab equipment as well as the scientific products/equipment accessories. This will enable start-ups to leverage investments to pursue innovative ideas for their products and services.
To focus more on the rural development, for the first time, Indian Science Congress will be including Farmer’s Science Congress. Among others, there are Children’s Science Congress, Women Science Congress, and Vice-Chancellors’ Science Congress. The summit will have four public lectures, 14 sectional sessions, Vigyan Sancharak Sammelan – 2020 and Mega Science Exhibition.
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Sameer is an aspiring Content Writer. Occasionally writes poems, loves food and is head over heels with Basketball.