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Indian Innovations for Indian Problems: Dr. Jitendra Singh at 6th National Convention of Vigyan Bharati

Pune: “Indian Solutions for Indian problems and Indian data for Indian Innovations as our spectrum, and even our human phenotype, is different from the rest of the world,” declared Dr. Jitendra Singh while addressing the 6th National Convention of Vigyan Bharati (ViBha) at MIT-ADT University. The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, and Earth Sciences, highlighted the importance of tailoring scientific advancements to meet India’s unique needs.

Recalling his long-standing association with Vigyan Bharati, Dr. Singh noted his participation in all its conventions, lauding it as a pivotal movement for promoting Swadeshi Sciences with a Swadeshi Spirit. He emphasized the need for a blend of Scientific Temper and Indian Temper in the nation’s scientific endeavors.

Dr. Singh traced the journey of Vigyan Bharati from its inception in the 1980s, highlighting its unwavering commitment to science. He recalled VIBHA’s prestigious ‘Nehru Award’ in 2007, presented by then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, as evidence of its significant contributions transcending political boundaries.

A renowned Diabetologist, Dr. Singh pointed out the high prevalence of central and visceral obesity in India, underlying the necessity for distinct health data. He stressed the uniqueness of the Indian phenotype and DNA, which calls for an integrated approach combining traditional knowledge with modern medicine. “Traditional knowledge is our exclusive asset,” he stated, referring to the ‘Traditional Knowledge Digital Library’ initiated by the Science and Technology Department.

Dr. Singh mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic shifted global perceptions about oriental medicine, with many from advanced countries seeking Ayurvedic remedies. Highlighting progress in science and technology, he credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support since 2014 for India’s scientific advancements. He cited the exponential growth from 350 startups in 2014 to nearly 1.5 lakh in 2024, positioning India third globally in startups and significantly improving its rank in the Global Innovation Index from 81st in 2014 to 40th in 2024.

Discussing India’s rich marine resources and extensive coastline, Dr. Singh expressed confidence in the Deep Sea Mission’s potential to boost the blue economy and fisheries exports. He also praised the new Space policy for fostering private sector participation, noting the surge from one startup in 2022 to around 200 in 2024.

Dr. Singh congratulated Dr. Shekhar Mande for the Aroma Mission, highlighting its success in transforming agripreneurs into lucrative earners. He attributed this progress to the enabling environment under PM Modi’s leadership, which had historically been lacking despite India’s scientific acumen.

Addressing the young scientific community, Dr. Singh urged them to rely on evidence-based practice, integrating public and private sectors to harness cultural and capital resources. “Our belief in Indianness is not just out of national pride but based on sound scientific research,” he affirmed.

The convention saw the presence of notable figures including Dr. Satheesh Reddy, Former Chairman of DRDO; Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, Former President; Dr. Shekhar Mande, President VIBHA; Swami Srikantananda Maharaj, Adhyaksha Ramakrishna Math Pune; and Prof. Vishwanath Karad, President MIT, Pune, all contributing to the vibrant discussions on India’s scientific future.

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