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`India failed to optimally use science and technology`

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Saturday that the profile of science must be raised in India.

Kolkata: Observing that there was lack of optimum use of science and technology for development, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Saturday that the profile of science must be raised in India.

"We did not use science and technology in our development processes as much as we should have," Manmohan Singh said at the Indian Science Congress Association meeting here.

"We did not build local capacities that could meaningfully address problems of development in a decentralised manner using this knowledge," he said.

Stressing the need to raise the profile of science, he said: "I believe that the huge expansion in educational infrastructure that this government has overseen will create the building blocks of a modern knowledge economy and, more importantly, society.

"I hope that all our educational institutions and scientific establishments will mark the occasion with suitable events to raise the profile of science in India," he added.

Manmohan Singh enumerated infrastructural inadequacy as hindrances to the process but said he was confident of overcoming them.

"We have to overcome many challenges such as producing qualified teachers in adequate numbers, devising a modern curriculum and teaching methods and building proper physical infrastructure.

"But it is certainly true that we have taken a quantum leap in our ambitions for Indian science," he said.

The prime minister said the government was planning to formulate a new science and technology policy within a year.

"Over the course of the year, we hope to formulate a new Science and Technology Policy that will update the existing policy document of 2003 in the light of a rapidly changing scientific environment in the country and the world."

Manmohan Singh was here for the inception ceremony as the General President of the Indian Science Congress Association on the occasion of its centenary year celebrations.


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