On the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the organisation had to gear themselves up to provide “time bound” delivery of solutions. Though the CSIR labs had immensely contributed to developing affordable technology — from tractors to diabetic drugs — for the country, it needed to ensure that there was no duplication of research efforts. “There should be a platform such that scientists learn what’s happening in one lab and then orient themselves to new challenges,” he told at the gathering of heads of CSIR labs and recepients of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards, one of India’s most prestigious awards for scientists. He also exhorted scientists to be cognizant of technological solutions that needed to be immediately implemented, even as scientists worked on research that would yield fruit “50 or hundred years hence.”
The Prime Minister’s address was preceded by that of CSIR Director-General, Girish Sahni, who said that CSIR was launching a skill development programme that would see CSIR laboratories training the unskilled, in industrial applications. The CSIR, said Sahni, has identified 90 “fast track technologies,” developed by CSIR scientists that could be rapidly brought to market. Mr. Modi said concerns over water security were creating an atmosphere of “war brewing between countries over water” but said that it was scientists who had to come up with solutions. “Those who write about such things will write, but(CSIR) scientists have to do more over improving water security, ensuring that water can be used more efficiently and land used better to improve crop varieties.” Media reports said Mr. Modi is expected to be “briefed” on Monday by top government officials on the intricacies of India’s water treaty with Pakistan, The Indus Treaty. This discussion is in the context of the attack at Uri that saw 17 soldiers killed by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists.