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India calls upon SCO countries to innovate scientific solutions to common challenges

Singh pointed out that as a result of a consistent boost to research and innovation, India has reached the third position in scientific publication as per the NSF database.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

India today called upon members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to join hands to innovate affordable scientific solutions to meet common challenges like ensuring food, affordable healthcare and energy access for its people.

Addressing an SCO meeting through virtual mode, Minister of State Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Jitendra Singh said the member countries of the SCO must jointly address emerging challenges of environmental problems like climate change and biodiversity loss.

Singh recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had at SCO Dushanbe Summit in 2021 called for making the region a stakeholder in emerging technologies so that it could compete with the developed world.

“For this, we have to encourage our talented youth towards science and rational thinking,” he said, adding that this kind of thinking and innovative spirit could be promoted by connecting young entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Singh pointed out that as a result of a consistent boost to research and innovation, India has reached the third position in scientific publication as per the NSF database. The country has featured within the top 50 innovative economies globally (at 46th rank), as per the Global Innovation Index (GII) and it has also reached the third position in terms of the number of PhDs.

The Indian minister informed his SCO counterparts that India in the recent past has launched several flagship initiatives such as the National Mission on Cyber-Physical Systems; Quantum Computing; National Mission on Supercomputing and the Deep Ocean Mission to build scientific leadership in the emerging areas of science.

He added that a national programme titled NIDHI (National Initiative for Developing & Harnessing Innovations) which addresses the entire value chain of Innovations has been launched.

Singh noted that in the last seven years, the government expenditure of R&D has almost doubled and in the current budget, India has allocated about Rs 14,800 Crore for the Ministry of Science & Technology and a budget of Rs 50,000 crore has been allocated over five years for the creation of a National Research Foundation (NRF).