Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology (DST), stressed that as the future throws challenges at greater speed, the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) should play the role of think tank for the development and progress of country and to help common men reap the benefits of science, technology and innovation, at the 35th foundation day of INAE.
“Some of the major challenges of the future are related to sustainable development, climate, energy, role of intelligent machines, internet of things, industry 4.0 and society 5.0 and man’s future competition with machines for which we have to look for future technologies,” Professor Sharma said at the online celebration of the foundation day which also marked the inauguration of India’s Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav by the institution on April 20, 2021.
He added that engineering is a tool to discover new science and a whole lot of science and technology could be built on knowledge, could be inter-disciplinary and problem-solving is the key for future. “The future is all about conversion of technologies. Leadership in engineering must acquire a holistic vision. INAE should play the role of think tank for the development and progress of the country,” DST Secretary pointed out.
Expressing concern at the limited number of women in engineering and science, he hoped that the upcoming Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) would encourage more women in this field as it strongly advocates for diversity, inclusion and equity. “Science has to be democratised, including engineering. INAE should think about how to encourage women to take up engineering,” he empasised.
Several dignitaries highlighted how the technological achievements of their organizations have made “Atmanirbhar Bharat” a reality.
Shri K N Vyas, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) & Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC); highlighted DAE’s work on exploration of atomic minerals, mining and concentration of atomic minerals, design and construction of nuclear reactors, safe operation of nuclear reactors, spent fuel reprocessing, production of heavy water and specialty materials, instrumentation and control of nuclear power plants among many others. “Indian industries can make products that are as good as any other country in the world. Indian scientists and engineers have the capability to do anything”, he said.
Dr. G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) talked about the contribution of DRDO in the journey of self-reliance in defence system including their achievements in missiles, fighter aircrafts, tanks and combat vehicles, radars and sonars, electronic warfare systems, torpedoes, mines and decoys, artillery guns, arms and ammunition, cyber systems, LIC handling products, space systems, soldier support systems and communication systems. “We have got to develop any kind of technology in India and we do not need to import in majority areas,” he stressed.
Shri S Somanath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) talked about people-centric and application-driven space technologies that include human spaceflight, space commerce, space applications, capacity building, space infrastructure and space transportation. “Our focus is on development of people-centric inventions and application-driven technology for the benefits of common man and country,” he pointed out.
Dr. Shekhar C Mande, Secretary, Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR) and Director-General, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) spoke about CSIR’s efforts and invention in the fight against pandemic COVID-19. “Adoption of sound S&T policies is the reason we are here today. Our primary aim is to generate next-generation human resources. We have contributed significantly in social and industrial innovations for the benefit of society and country. Our S&T is closely connected with Indian industry and our motto is fundamental science on one side and benefit to the society on other,” said Dr Mande.
Prof. Indranil Manna, President, INAE briefed about the recent activities being conducted at INAE and the importance of engineers in the society.
INAE was founded on April 20, 1987 to promote excellence in Engineering and technology in the country. The Academy is an autonomous institution supported partly through grant-in-aid by DST.