Clean transport, energy from waste among India’s nine scientific priorities
The Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC), a 21-member panel appointed at August-end under the chairmanship of the PM’s principal scientific advisor K VijayRaghavan, chose nine priority projects for India to pursue at its first meeting on Tuesday. The projects include generating energy from waste, developing economical and energy-efficient electric vehicles, decoding human genome of Indians and exploring the deep sea like the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) explores outer space. Other key studies will include use of artificial intelligence in supercomputing, integration of research in training programmes, and bridging the gap between successful technologies and start-ups. It will also look to teach science and technology in Indian languages, use science for developing scalable waste to energy technologies and monitoring biodiversity. “There is now a stated direction and efficiency in the system due to the increased government, industry and philanthropy investment along with quality leadership. India’s scientific enterprise can be made strong, collaborative, daring, purposeful and effective,” said VijayRaghavan. All the discussions at Tuesday’s meeting would be translated into action points, according to the committee. “The nine missions and projects have been developed keeping in mind the national needs and priorities. Different ministries will come together under the committee for implementing the missions,” said Ashutosh Sharma, secretary of the department of science and an ex-officio member of the committee. The committee was formed after dissolving bodies that had been defunct since 2014—the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister and to the Cabinet— which had been formed during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.