Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has stressed the need for better science communication in regional languages to reach out to people in their mother tongue and inculcate a scientific temper among them. He called for increased efforts to popularise science through books, TV shows and radio broadcasts. On the impact of technologies like Artificial Intelligence on people’s lives, he said that science discourse now must become more inclusive and democratic. He called upon the scientific community to take the advancements in their fields closer to people, calling it ‘scientific social responsibility or SSR’, akin to corporate social responsibility.
The Vice President inaugurated a year-long celebration of birth centenaries of Indian scientists, organised by Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science & Technology, on National Mathematics Day. National Mathematics Day is celebrated each year on December 22, marking the birth anniversary of the legendary Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan.
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu paid tributes to the six scientists whose birth centenary Vigyan Prasar is celebrating – Har Gobind Khorana, G. N. Ramachandran, Yelavarthy Nayudamma, Balasubramaniam Ramamurthi, G. S. Laddha and Rajeshwari Chatterjee – who were all born in 1922. He called for introspection in the field of STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics) and suggested that India must aim to become a world leader in scientific research. He suggested increasing public and private investments in R&D, encouraging scholars to publish papers in reputed peer-reviewed journals, resolving bottlenecks in the patenting regime and nurturing promising ideas that find wide applications. He advised addressing the issue of the gender divide in the field. Even though the STEM field has more than 42 percent, female graduates, only 16.6 percent of women researchers are directly engaged in R&D activities.