Prof Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog, while inaugurating the 21st Punjab Science Congress on "Scientific Advances for Inclusive Development and Environmental Protection" at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) said, "Despite materialistic progress, the quest for improving the quality of life still persists."
The PAU has organized the Science Congress under the aegis of Punjab Academy of Sciences (PAS), Patiala.
Professor Chand said Science can play a vital role in improving the quality of life. It is time for the society to reflect what the present trend in Science is, what are its strengths and weaknesses, and what we are doing, he observed. India (34%) is ahead of China (23%) in terms of investment in research and development by private sector, he disclosed. But in publications, India (93,000) needs to step up in comparison to China (more than 2 lakh), he added. Prof Chand called for interdisciplinary collaborations to check natural resource depletion and protect the environment. "Science often makes miracles," he said, while adding it can go a long way in benefiting the farmers.
In his presidential remarks, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said, "Although progress has been made, yet the disparity between rural and urban, agriculture and non-agriculture still exists." Detailed analysis of inclusive development and environmental protection needs to be done, he added. This calls for developing networks, putting up research together, utilizing resources, minimizing duplication and coming up with recommendations, he said.
Dr IJS Bansal, President of PAS, said innovation in agriculture has enhanced the production. Science, technology and innovation are the key factors for economic growth, he added. New discoveries including new technologies and techniques will surely make the world a better place to live in, he remarked.