Chennai: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday urged Indian scientists to "think big" and "out of the box" for scientific advancement and innovations in the country.
"The time has come for Indian scientists to think big, think out of the box. The time has come to produce Ramans and Ramanujans as we usher in the decade of innovation," Manmohan Singh said in his inaugural address at the 98th Indian Science Congress here.
He was referring to eminent physicist CV Raman and renowned mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan -- both from Tamil Nadu.
Raman was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930 for the discovery that when light traverses a transparent material, some of the light that is deflected changes in wavelength. Ramanujan was a mathematician who had no formal training in pure mathematics but made substantial contributions to mathematical analysis.
The Prime Minister stressed on the need to better higher education in the country and claimed that the government was already moving forward in this direction.
"Our government has paid special attention to the growth of our university system. In the past six years, our government has established eight new Indian Institutes of Technology and five institutes" of higher education and research, he said.
"The growth of our economy, defence of our people and security of our people depends of scientific and technological competence," he said declaring the congress open.
The biggest conclave of Indian science has some 7,500 scientists, including six Nobel laureates, from across the world attending.
The Congress at SRM University is the 98th held in India uninterrupted since 1914.
The Congress is always inaugurated Jan 3 by the Prime Minister and chaired by the chief minister of the host state. However, Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister MK Stalin chaired the event Monday.