Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday exhorted scientists to extend their research from “the labs to the land” and said that India has to be “future ready” for the greater benefit of the people.

Addressing the inaugural session of the 105th Indian Science Congress in Imphal (Manipur), PM Modi said that this is just the second time in over a century, that the Indian Science Congress is being held in the North-East.

This is a testimony to the resurgent spirit of the North East. It bodes well for the future, he said, adding that India has a rich tradition and a long history of both discovery and use of science and technology.

“It is time to reclaim our rightful place among the front-line nations in this field,” he said, calling upon the scientific community to extend its research from “the labs to the land”.

PM Modi said the country has to be “future ready” in implementing technologies vital for the growth and prosperity of the nation.

“Technology will allow far greater penetration of services such as education, health care and banking to our citizens,” he said.

The Prime Minister said, there is a need to communicate our scientific achievements to society. This, he said, will help inculcate scientific temper among the youth.

“We have to throw open our institutions and laboratories to our children. I call upon scientists to develop a mechanism for interaction with school-children,” the Prime Minister said.

PM Modi said it was his “personal request” that scientists spend 100 hours per annum with 100 students of classes 9 to 12 to discuss science and technology as it could help nurture scientific temperament among the youth.

The government has set a target of 100 GW (giga watt) of installed solar power by 2022, Modi told the gathering.

“Efficiency of solar modules currently available in the market is around 17-18 per cent. Can our scientists take a challenge to come up with a more efficient solar module, which can be produced in India at the same cost,” he asked.

PM Modi also said the government is committed to increasing the share of non-fossil fuel based capacity in the electricity mix above 40 per cent by 2030.

India is a leader in the multi-country Solar Alliance and in Mission Innovation. These groupings are providing a thrust to R and D for clean energy, the prime minister pointed out.

PM Modi at the gathering said, we have approved a ‘Prime Minister’s Research Fellows’ scheme. Under this, bright minds from the best Institutions in the country, like IISc,IIT,NIT, IISER & IIIT will be offered direct admission in Ph.D in IIT & IISc. This will help address brain-drain from our country.

PM Modi added that I am confident that through he dedicated efforts of our scientists, we are embarking on the road to a glorious future. The future we wish for ourselves and for our children.

Following the inaugural session, Modi will head for Luwangshangbam to lay the foundation stones for Luwangpokpa Multi Sports Complex, National Sports University and freedom fighter Rani Gaidinliu Park at Mantripukhri.

He will also address a public gathering at Luwangshangbam.

The prime minister is visiting Manipur a day after completion of one year of the BJP-led coalition government in the state.

Security in the state particularly in Imphal town and the places that will be visited by Modi has been beefed up.

Modi arrived in a special aircraft of Indian Air Force at 9.25 am and will depart at around 1.30 pm.

(With agency inputs)