PM to unveil ‘people-centric’ science policy today

Since Independence, India has released science policy only thrice

The fourth science policy, which will be unveiled by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday at the centenary edition of the Indian Science Congress in Kolkata, seeks to lay greater thrust on innovation and stresses on accessible, affordable and people-centric approach for development of science and technology. This was stated by Union Science and Technology Minister Jaipal Reddy in Kolkata on Wednesday.

He said science could be used for development of technology and innovation that will bring in inclusive development.

Reddy, however, added that many a times good innovations are backed by large capital, which makes ut difficult for common people to access. "But this year, the science policy will try to focus more on how scientific activities could be made more accessible to the masses," he added.

In 1958, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru unveiled the first science policy which focused on cultivation of science. The second science policy was unveiled in 1983 after a gap of 25 years. The last science policy was unveiled in the 2003 edition of the Indian Science Congress.

Governor MK Naryanan, who also briefed the media as the chairman of the host committee, said this was for the first time both Pranab Mukherjee and Manmohan Singh will share the dais as President and Prime Minister of the country. The five-day event, which will be inaugurated by the President, will be held at Salt Lake Stadium.

The theme for this year's Science Congress is "Science For Shaping Future of India".

Following the inauguration, Prime Minister in his capacity as General President will lead panel discussion on the theme issue. The panelists will include Dr R Chidambaram, Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, Dr MS Swaminathan, Emeritus Chairman of MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai and Dr John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser, Government of UK.

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