Scientific achievements should benefit masses: Omar

JAMMU: Underscoring the need for synthesizing science, technology and innovation for maximum benefit to mankind, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Monday said that implications of science should be universal without any monopoly.

“All should have universal implications and consequences with regard to innovations that would lead to the upliftment and amelioration of human condition”, he said and added that the global public goods like cure for AIDS or Cancer and diffusion of technologies to better and improve services and systems for the mankind cannot be patented.

Addressing the 101st Indian Science Congress inaugurated by Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh here, the Chief Minister said that the human quests since millennia can be said to involve a pursuit to improve the human conditions and existence and push the frontiers of the minds and imagination towards the innovations and scientific growth as a natural concomitant and consequence of the quest. He said that science and technology merge in the pursuit of knowledge and solutions to problems that require the application of scientific understanding.

“Solving technological problems demands scientific knowledge. While technology makes it possible to discover new scientific knowledge both enjoy a symbiotic relation with each other. Trying into science and technology is innovation defined as something new and original that makes a mark in the society”, he said adding that science, technology and innovations are having expanding effect in the daily lives of people and are omnipresent.

The Chief Minister said that he is in favour of open science which calls for liberal dissemination of knowledge. “Open science is more conducive to the rate of growth of society’s stock of knowledge. I, therefore, call for an approach that aligns befitting returns from science and knowledge. He said while the scientific quest is an elitist endeavour and enterprise, its diffusion and beneficiaries should be non-elitist. He said discoveries of science should be in public domain for the use of general people. 

“There should be no monopoly on the use of application of science, technology and implications”, he said adding that while patents on innovations may give a sense of ownership to the innovation and science entrepreneur, the benefits of science should not be exclusive.

Omar Abdullah said that governments have a role to play to make innovative quests profitable. This, he said could be done by encouraging research and development by subsidizing aspects involved in the process and by making innovation in science and technology as the centre piece of public policy. “There is a role for markets as well. New knowledge and developments in science and technology can at times be best developed and diffused through markets”, he said highlighting the need for an optimal policy-mix in the domain of innovations where both markets and governments have a role.

The Chief Minister said that India has been the cradle of science, technology and innovations and its contributions in these fields are well known. He said India and Indians are endowed with the creative impulse and the imagination required for making advances and innovations in science and technology. “Our country and countrymen also have great absorptive and synthesizing capacities. This is a special and a unique gift of great value in an age where time and space have compressed”, he said maintaining that India is blessed with open mind, tolerant attitude, curiosity and the creative impulse, and India can be a pioneer in innovation, science and technology.

The Chief Minister emphasized the need for a vigorous and robust framework, and the right environment for harnessing talent and directing it to the scientific quest in the country. “The underlining motto and promises of this has to be inclusive, sustainable, equitable and dynamic growth of the country. This calls for an electric multi-pronged policy mix which nurtures the young scientific talent in the country and provides support to science, technology and innovation”, he said and called for creating laboratories and institutions with the motto of braking and penetrating the frontiers of knowledge, science and technology.

The Chief Minister said that the benefits of scientific knowledge should percolate to the masses and harnessed for inclusive growth in the country. He described it as an imperative and the time as of essence.

Omar Abdullah expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for inaugurating the Indian Science Congress. He thanked him for gracing the occasion.

Governor, N. N. Vohra, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for Science and Technology, S. Jaipal Reddy, various Members of Jammu and Kashmir Council of Ministers, Parliament Members, Legislators, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary, Mohammad Iqbal Khandey, Union Secretary Department of Science and Technology, T. Ramaswami, Director General Police, Ashok Prasad, General President Indian Science Congress, R. C. Sobti, Vice Chancellor, Jammu University, Prof. M. P. S. Isher, Vice Chancellors of various Universities, Administrative Secretaries, senior officers, scientists from various scientific fields, educationists and students were present on the occasion besides others.

The Union Minister for Science and Technology and the General President Indian Science Congress also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the efficacy and importance of Indian Science Congress for the growth and development of science and technology in the country.

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