Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, MoS PMO, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space and MoS Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Dr Jitendra Singh said that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, last nine years witnessed universal acknowledgement of India’s scientific prowess.
The Minister said, during the last nine years under the stewardship of PM Modi, India’s scientific temper catapulted India to the select league of leading nations with emerging technologies.
Addressing the 46th Induction Programme for the newly recruited scientists of Ministry of Science and Technology at the Human Resource Development Centre, Ghaziabad of CSIR, Dr Jitendra Singh said despite scepticism and doubts raised in some unscrupulous quarters, the country successfully fought back the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the able guidance and leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian pharmaceutical companies developed vaccines in a short time and the Government not only combatted the spread of Covid-19 but also exported the vaccine to the developed world and WHO commitments.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, under the Rs. 900 Crore ‘Mission Covid Suraksha’, announced by Government of India as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 package, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) delivered four vaccines, augmented the manufacturing of Covaxin, The four vaccines are- ZyCoV-D- world’s 1st and India’s indigenously developed DNA Vaccine, CORBEVAXTM – India’s first protein subunit vaccine, GEMCOVAC™-19 – world’s 1st and India’s indigenously developed mRNA vaccine and iNCOVACC- world’s 1st and India’s indigenously developed intranasal Covid-19 Vaccine.
Dr Jitendra Singh said India created a massive jump in its global ranking of Global Innovation Index (GII) from 81st in the year 2015 to 40th in 2022 among 130 economies of the world. The Gross Expenditure on R&D (GERD) has increased more than three times in the last 10 years. India is ranked 9th in terms of resident patent filing while Women’s participation in extramural R&D has also doubled in the last 9 years.
The Minister said India ranks 3rd globally in terms of number of Startups (77,000) and in terms of number of unicorns (107) in the world. India ranks third among the most attractive investment destinations for technology transactions in the world. India’s significant rise in terms of number of publications in SCI journals – globally ranked 3rd now from 6th in 2013. Besides, India occupies 3rd rank in terms of number of PhDs awarded in Science and Engineering (S&E) (nearly 25,000) after the USA and China.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, in line with the Prime Minister’s announcement at COP26, India is working towards achieving 500 GW of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030. So far, more than 170 GW of capacity from non-fossil fuel sources has been installed in the country. India stands 4th globally in Renewable Energy Installed Capacity (including Large Hydro), 4th in Wind Power capacity and 4th in Solar Power capacity.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Space reforms have unleashed innovative potentials of StartUps and within a short span of time, from a couple of Space Start-ups three/four years back, today we have 102 start-ups working in cutting-edge areas of space debris management, nano-satellite, launch vehicle, ground systems, research etc. The Minister said, with the integration of R&D, Academia and Industry with equal stake, it is safe to say that a Space Revolution led by ISRO along with the Private Sector and Start-ups is on the horizon. In November last year the first-ever private Vikram-suborbital (VKS) rocket was launched by ISRO, setting a new milestone in the 75 years journey of Independent India.
In Defence sector, Dr Jitendra Singh said, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant was commissioned by the Prime Minister at Cochin Shipyard Limited in September 2022 and a couple of days ago the Mig-29K fighter jet made a successful maiden night landing on the carrier. Due to the Government’s persistent efforts, Defence exports grew by 334% in the last five years. They touched a record Rs 13,000 crore in Financial Year 2021-22. India is now exporting defence equipment to over 75 countries.
Dr Jitendra Singh said India is among the world’s foodgrain, horticulture and livestock-poultry producers and is also partly meeting the global food requirements. Last year the ICAR produced more than 339,000 qt. of seeds and 147.56 million sapling/seedlings/livestock strains, besides various bio-products for availability to the farmers.
The Minister said the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the National Quantum Mission (NQM) in April 2023 at a total cost of over Rs.6,000 crore during the period 2023-31, aiming to seed, nurture and scale up scientific and industrial R&D and create a vibrant & innovative ecosystem in Quantum Technology (QT). This will accelerate QT led economic growth, nurture the ecosystem in the country and make India one of the leading nations in the development of Quantum Technologies & Applications (QTA).
Dr Jitendra Singh said the new mission targets developing intermediate scale quantum computers with 50-1000 physical qubits in 8 years in various platforms like superconducting and photonic technology. Satellite based secure quantum communications between ground stations over a range of 2,000 kilometres within India, long distance secure quantum communications with other countries, inter-city quantum key distribution over 2,000 km as well as multi-node Quantum network with quantum memories are also some of the deliverables of the Mission.