Bhubaneswar: May 11: Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre at Jatni of Odisha, besides Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory – India (LIGO-India), Hingoli and Platinum Jubilee Block of Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the programme marking National Technology Day 2023, at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi today. The programme also marked the commencement of the celebration of the 25th year of National Technology Day being held from the 11th to the 14th of May.
On this momentous occasion, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone and dedicated to the nation multiple projects related to scientific and technological advancement in the country worth more than Rs 5800 crores. This is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat through strengthening scientific institutions in the country.
The projects that will be dedicated to Nation on this occasion include Fission Molybdenum-99 Production Facility, Mumbai; Rare Earth Permanent Magnet Plant, Visakhapatnam; National Hadron Beam Therapy Facility, Navi Mumbai; Radiological Research Unit, Navi Mumbai; Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Visakhapatnam; and Women & Children Cancer Hospital Building at Navi Mumbai.
During the programme, the Prime Minister also inaugurated the Expo showcasing scientific & technological advancements made in India in the recent past and also took a walk-through. He also released a commemorative stamp and coin on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that the 11th of May is one of the most prestigious days in the history of India. He underlined that today marks the day when India’s scientists achieved the stupendous feat in Pokhran which made the entire nation proud.
“I can never forget the day when Atal Ji made the announcement of India’s successful Nuclear Testing”, the Prime Minister remarked.
He stated that the Pokhran Nuclear Testing not only helped India prove its scientific capabilities but also gave a boost to the global stature of the nation. “In Atal Ji’s words”, the Prime Minister said, “We have never stopped on our journey and never surrendered to any challenge that has come our way.” The Prime Minister conveyed his greetings to every citizen on the occasion of National Technology Day.
The Prime Minister reiterated that today, at the initial period of Amrit Kaal, the goals of 2047 are clear before us. “We have to make the nation Viksit and Aatmnirbhar”, said the Prime Minister emphasizing the need for creating an inclusive ecosystem for growth, innovation and Sustainable Development Goals.
He underlined the importance of technology at every step and said, India is moving forward with a holistic and 360-degree approach in this regard. “India considers technology as a tool of the nation’s progress, not a means to assert its dominance”, the Prime Minister said.
Praising the theme of today’s event ‘School to Startups- igniting young minds to innovate’, the Prime Minister said that India’s future will be decided by the youth and children of today.
He said that the passion, energy, and capabilities of the children and youth today are India’s big strengths. Quoting Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the Prime Minister underscored the importance of knowledge along with knowledge and said as India is developing as a Knowledge society, it is taking action with equal force. He elaborated on the strong foundation that has been created in the country during the last 9 years to ignite young minds.
The Prime Minister said that more than 10 thousand ATAL tinkering labs in 700 districts have become innovation nurseries. More importantly, 60 percent of these labs are in government and rural schools.
The Prime Minister informed that 75 lakh plus students are working laboriously on more than 12 lakh innovation projects in Atal Tinkering Lab. This, the Prime Minister said, is a sign of young scientists coming right out of schools and reaching the far corners of the country and emphasizing that it is everyone’s duty to handhold them, nurture their talent and also assist them in implementing their ideas.
He noted the hundreds of startups that have been incubated at Atal Innovation Centers (AIC) and said that it is emerging as the new laboratories of the ‘New India’. “The Tinker-preneurs of India will soon become leading entrepreneurs of the world”, the Prime Minister said.
“The India of today is moving forward in every direction that is necessary to become a tech leader”, Shri Modi said. He noted that the number of tech incubation centers in the country has grown from roughly 150 in 2014 to more than 650 today.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that India’s Global Innovation Index Rank has gone from 81 to the 40th position where the youth of the country are setting up their own digital ventures and startups. Drawing comparisons with 2014, the Prime Minister mentioned that the number of startups in the country has increased from roughly 100 to 1 lakh recognized startups today and it has turned India into the third largest startup ecosystem in the world.
Noting India’s capability and talent, the Prime Minister pointed out that the growth took place at a time when the world is dealing with economic uncertainty. Underlining that the present moment is extremely precious for policymakers, the scientific community, research labs spread across the country and the private sector, the Prime Minister reiterated that even though the School to Startup journey will be made by the students, it is the stakeholders who must guide and encourage them at all times. The Prime Minister extended his entire support for the cause.
The Prime Minister said that when we move keeping in mind the social context of technology, technology becomes a powerful tool of empowerment. It becomes a tool for removing imbalance and promoting social justice. The Prime Minister recalled the time when technology was beyond the reach of common citizens and things like debit, credit cards were status symbols. But today, UPI has become a new normal due to its simplicity. Today India is among the countries with the highest data use. Rural intent users number has overtaken urban users. JAM trinity, GeM portal, CoWin portal, e-NAM are making technology an agent of inclusion.
The Prime Minister said that the right use of technology gives new strength to society, today the government is using technology for providing services for every stage of life. Online birth certificates, e-Pathshal and Diksha e-learning platforms, scholarship portal, Universal access number during the job period, e-Sanjivini for medical treatment, and Jeevan Praman for the elderly, such solutions are helping the citizen at every step, said the Prime Minister. He also talked about initiatives in easy passports, Digi Yatra, and DigiLocker as examples of ensuring social justice and enhancing ease of living.
Referring to the rapid changes taking place in the world of technology, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that the youth of India will lead the country in matching this pace and also crossing it. He mentioned AI tools that have emerged as the new game changers, the limitless possibilities in the health sector, and new innovations taking place in drone technology, and the therapeutics sector and said that India must take a lead in such revolutionary technology.
Referring to India’s goal of a self-reliant defence sector, the Prime Minister mentioned Innovation for Defense Excellence or iDEX and expressed delight that the Ministry of Defense has procured 14 innovations from iDEX worth more than Rs 350 crores.
The Prime Minister mentioned initiatives like i-create and DRDO young scientists labs and said that these efforts are being given a new direction. Touching upon the new reforms in the space sector, the Prime Minister said that India is emerging as a global game changer and highlighted technologies like SSLV and PSLV orbital platforms.
Throwing light on the role of hackathons in innovation and security, the Prime Minister underlined that the government is continuously promoting the hackathon culture where students take up new challenges and emphasized the need for hand-holding and creating a framework for this. He suggested that an institutionalized system be kept in place to address the youth coming out of Atal Tinkering Labs. “Can we similarly identify 100 labs in the country in different areas, which should be made youth driven?”, the Prime Minister asked.
Highlighting the special focus areas of clean energy and natural farming, the Prime Minister stressed promoting research and technology. Concluding the address, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that National Technology Week can play an important role in realizing these possibilities.
Union Minister for Defence, Shri Rajnath Singh and Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Shri Jitendra Singh were present on the occasion among others.