India’s Quantum journey is in final stage and will be announced very soon, said Prof. Ajay Sood, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India and the Prime Minister.
“We missed the semiconductor bus 50 years ago and are now suffering from the effects. But we cannot miss the quantum bus,” said Prof Sood who delivered the introductory remarks of the first plenary session of the 108th Indian Science Congress that began today. The five-day mega event is being hosted by Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University.
“The four domains of the quantum technology are communication, simulation, computation and metrology. It is expected that lots of commercial applications would emerge from theoretical constructs which are developing in this area. There was a lull in this mission during the last two years due to the pandemic,” said Prof Sood.
Speaking about the research and development expenses in India, Prof Sood said that governments spend about 59%, while 41% comes from the business sector. Of the government spending, the central government spends over 45 % of total R&D expenses in India while states spend only 6.1%. “If states increase their expenses in the R&D, the state universities can also conduct sustainable research which is missing in many traditional universities,” he said.
Secretary of Department of Earth Sciences Dr M Ravichandran, Senior Advisor, and scientist of department of biotechnology Dr Alka Sharma, Secretary of Department of Science and Technology Dr S Chandrashekhar, and Director general of Council of Scientific and Industrial research (CSIR) Dr N. Kalaiselvi, also spoke on the challenges and opportunities before India in the year 2030.
Dr Ravichandran spoke about the blue economy and the deep ocean mission. He outlined India’s mission to harness ocean energy and generate fresh water from seawater. Dr AlkaSharma spoke on high performance manufacturing for a prosperous India. She claimed that the BioEconomy grew eight times during last eight years and India was uniquely poised to become a successful biomanufacturing hub. “The inflow of women biotech entrepreneur applicants was 15% in 2017 which has increased to 25% in 2021 under BIG,” she said.
Dr Chandrashekhar said that India has a decent manufacturing capacity in the health sector, but we need more innovation. “Production of waste is more in the pharmaceutical sector. We must consider the problems ahead of our next generations and plan accordingly,” he said, while emphasizing on the effects of excessive use of urea in agriculture and alternatives like green ammonia for the same.
Dr. (Mrs.) N Kalaiselvi, director of CSIR spoke on various challenges and opportunities in front of India’s scientific community and people. She spoke about India’s sustainable development goals and challenges in the fields of healthcare, environment, Energy, Food, Industry, ease of doing science and attracting and retaining talent in India.
The session was coordinated by Vice Chancellor of the SRM University Dr Narayana Rao. The introductory remark and the vote of thanks were given by Dr Smita Acharya from the department of physics, RTMNU.