Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that Science and Indian Scientists not only helped India in gaining Independence, but also sustaining it for 75 years.
Addressing a National Conference for Science Communicators and Teachers on the subject of “Indian Independence Movement & the Role of Science”, Dr Jitendra Singh said, India has made a “giant leap” in the field of science and technology in the past seven years under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He reiterated that India is already on the ascent and Science & Technology will be the key determinants of the roadmap for next 25 years when we celebrate 100 years of India’s Independence.
Dr Jitendra Singh described Mahatma Gandhi as one of the greatest scientific strategists who, through his weapon of Non-Violence, waged scientific battle against British subjugation and aggression. He further narrated that Bapu and many of his contemporaries had also adopted psychological techniques to put the British adversaries on the defensive.
Paying rich tributes to Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, an eminent biologist, physicist, botanist and an early writer of science fiction on his birth anniversary, Dr Jitendra Singh said, patriotic fervour exhibited by scientists in imperial India added to the spirit of the Nationalist Movement. He said, in the freedom movement of our country, we remember the sacrifices and struggles of the political leaders, but on the other hand, our scientists also struggled and opposed the discriminatory policy of British rule.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav coinciding with the 75th year of the country’s Independence gives us an opportunity to remember our science heroes. Saluting the indomitable spirit of Indian scientists, science communicators, and science teachers of Indian Independence Movement, the Minister said, we must remember their unmatched contribution as individuals, institutions, and movements that laid the foundation of our present-day Science & Technology.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, vision of “Self-reliance” during colonial era encouraged Indian scientists and patriots to establish their own scientific institutions and industries. Dr. Mahendralal Sircar established the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science in 1876. Acharya P. C. Ray established The Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works in 1901 which was the foundation stone of indigenous industry in our country. He said, Indian scientists during freedom struggle emphasized on social harmony, equality, rationalism, secularism and universalism.
The broad theme of the conference is “Indian Independence Movement & the Role of Science”. All the aspects of this theme are covered in six major topics which are 1. Science as a Tool for Subjugation, 2. Science as a Tool for Liberation: Role of Scientists, 3. Science as a Tool for Liberation: Role of Institutions – Academic, Industrial and Research, 4. Science as a Tool for Liberation: Role of Movements, 5. Science as a Tool for Liberation: Role of Policy and Planning, 6. Science as a Tool for Liberation: Vision of our Scientists.
In this two-day National Conference, around 3500 participants joined the event comprising the inaugural session, 3 Plenary Sessions by invited keynote speakers, 6 technical sessions on the theme of the conference and valedictory session.