The Indian PM Narendra Modi recently stated that the science community should focus on innovations for rural poor and farmers, but also function discretion in selecting causes to work for.
“New India needs technology as well as a logical temperament so that our effort for the social and economic development of the individual is in the right direction,” Modi mentioned in a speech after inaugurating the 107th Indian Science Congress at the University of Agriculture in Bengaluru.
The PM inaugurated 5 new laboratories of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which will give employment to only scientists under 35 years, and work on modern weaponry.
Addressing the gathering of scientists and students, Modi shared that technology had played a decisive role in different schemes and initiatives under the BJP government. Aadhaar-related benefits, rural electrification, improving sanitation and building houses for the poor, among other initiatives, were aided by modern technology.
“Friends, we need a revolution in technology assisting agriculture practices,” he urged. “Your contribution will help India become a five trillion economy,” he stated.
Modi, who was on a two-day visit to Karnataka, observed that the next 10 years would be decisive for rural technology, especially “cost-effective agriculture and farm-to-consumer supply chain where technology will bring important improvements”.
He further claimed that digital services, e-commerce, and mobile banking had assisted the rural population significantly, while modern data science especially after the roll-out of Aadhaar, had helped in targeting projects better.
The use of technology, he said, helped the government in identifying 80 million women who suffered from smoke from earthen furnaces, and providing their households with electricity. It also helped in building 20 million houses for poor in areas determined through geo-tagging, apart from creating a direct selling channel for farmers, among other things.
He urged youngsters to look into sectors to remove archaic problems in farming. “Can we find farmer-centric solutions to crop burning; can we re-design brick kilns for lesser emission and higher efficiency; can we have better solutions to deliver clean drinking water in villages,” he asserted.
“Motto for youngsters must be to: Innovate, patent, produce and prosper,” Modi concluded.