93rd Indian Science Congress on "Integrated Rural Development:Science and Technology"
93rd Indian Science Congress on "Integrated Rural Development:Science and Technology" from 3-7 January, Hyderabad, India
India made significant and impressive progress and forged ahead in all walks of life and is set to become a Developed Nation by 2020. The advancements in science and technology, together with enabling public policies, foster the growth and development of the country. The visionary first Prime Minister of India has laid firm foundations for sound scientific research by establishing a network of national Scientific Laboratories.
Despite all the achievements made in the fields of science and technology, food front, industries, rural India is plagued with multitude of daunting problems, lacking even the minimum basic human needs like safe drinking water, hospitals, health care, sanitation, educational facilities, proper housing, storage and roads etc. The fact is, seventy two percent of India's population (1025 million) lives in seven lakh villages, with a low per capita income of less than 11/2 dollars a day and a parity purchasing power of mere 8.2US $. Twenty six percent of India's population is below the poverty line with no security of any kind. The country produces food enough for its huge population, yet paradoxically, those below the poverty line do not have access to food, because with the meager income they are unable to purchase food. They must have gainful employment to earn more. The quality of life of people in rural India is poor compared to the urbans. If India has to be a global power, the country has to be economically strong, apart from being scientifically strong. India's economy basically is agrarian with 67 percent people dependant on agriculture, the sector contributing 25-26 percent to GDP and 14-15 percents of country's exports accounted by agriculture and allied sectors. It is now recognized that agriculture, horticulture, livestock, poultry and fisheries sectors would play a dominant role in the future economy of the country to maintain a high GDP growth rate. Economic and political thinkers agree that sine qua non of national development is agriculture and rural development.
It is, therefore, necessary to inquire, to what extent scientists and scientific labs have responded to the needs of the society/country in the context of changed scenario; nationally and globally; globalization and WTO? Are there implementable technologies?
Are they adequate, relevant to the local conditions and resources to meet the challenges of rural India? Who are their clients and stakeholders? Did they accept the technologies? To What Extent the scientific labs and Scientists have re-oriented research to serve the stakeholders?
Sustainable agriculture and allied sectors for enhanced productivity and quality and food, nutrition and household security.
Education-Enterprise and employment oriented education and training for production, value addition, local and national needs - whither science education and research.
Health care - Health secure India
Water security and Sanitation.
Cottage, small scale and agro-based industries.
Processing, value addition for profitability and exports.
Bio-diversity conservation, eco-technologies, marine technologies and natural resources management.
Non-conventional energy sources and bio-diesel.
Physical infrastructure, transport, communications and internet connectivity.
Women and youth empowerment, employment guarantee, farm and non-farm sectors.
Marketing, storage, market intelligence, inter-national trade.
Natural disasters management and preparedness-cyclones, floods, drought, earthquakes, tidal waves/tsunami.
Harnessing indigenous knowledge and frontier technologies-biotechnology, information technology, remote sensing technology, space technology, nano technology, communication technology- technology parks.
Poverty alleviation and improving quality of life
Science and technology for sustainable development and in response to basic human needs.
Cutting edge technologies, knowledge and information empowerment.
India as a global partner in herbal, IT and pharma products.
Training for services, tourism, entertainment, fine arts and rural crafts.
Frontiers in pharma products and business process outstanding in pharma sector.
Impact of WTO, PPV, IPR, TRIPS, SPS on Indian economy and sustainable development.
Public private partnership and industry academia partnership.