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INTERVENTIONS OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE SELF-RELIANT INDIA | by- Rajalakshmi Arumugam

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INTRODUCTION

The common proverb, “Self-help is the best help” explains better about the term self-reliance. Nothing can be more pleasure than tasting the fruits of our own efforts. This befits for a nation too. India with her huge population, enormous natural wealth, rich heritage, healthy cultures and predominantly ingenious academicians and scholars have the ability to be completely self-reliant in every field.


IMPORTANCE OF SELF-RELIANCE

In common self-reliance has many definitions.

  • Reliance on one’s own efforts and abilities (Merriam Webster, a dictionary)
  • A reliance on internal resources to provide life with coherence and fulfilment (Baumeister, a psychologist)
  • Solving problem themselves, making their own rules, scheduling routine tasks, managing their time, developing independent thoughts etc., (Carolyn Tomlin, a preschool director and author)
  • Taking responsibility, being informed about the environment you are in, knowing your direction and the steps required to reach your goal, making autonomous decisions (Ralph Waldo Emerson, a philosopher)
  • Not letting the noise of others’ opinion drown out your inner voice (Steve Jobs, founder of Apple)

       If it is more important for a person to be self-reliant, it is even more important for a nation. Self-reliance of a nation has several impacts on diverse sectors including

  • Stable GDP growth
  • Independency of the nation on other nations
  • Less/no tax
  • Free education to all
  • Elevated employment opportunities to youth
  • Initiation of various policies which pillars many scale industries and self-employment ideas
  • Efficient healthcare management systems
  • Enhanced measures for helping defence personnel

IMPORTANCE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Self-reliance of a nation depends on her development. Development of a nation in turn largely depends on the emergence of novel techniques, which eventually depends on the advancement of Science. This self-reliance, science, technology are all directly proportional to each other. Science and Technology (S&T) have stepped into all walks of life including education, healthcare, defence, aviation, agriculture, space studies, IT, automotive, communication, infrastructure, environmental safety etc., Thus a nation cannot sustain without boosting her S&T and implementing it together. Citizens of the nation are equally responsible for making their country a self-reliant. A self-reliant nation can afford a large number of wellness plans to the citizens.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR SPACE

-       Mars Orbiter Mission(MOM)/Mangalyaan (2013) was a giant leap in Indian Space Research

-       Insertion of India’s first Moon Probe (2008) in lunar orbit makes India challenge with NASA

-       Development and usage of atomic clocks in navigation satellites was another step in Space research.

-       An unbelievable launch of 104 satellites on a single rocket exhibited the capability of ISRO.

-       The power of India’s young minds came into light when Rifath Sharook, an 18- year old boy designed the world’s smallest satellite.

-       The efforts of ISRO in launching India’s first lunar probe Chandrayaan I & II and their exploration of water in moon made the whole world turn their heads towards India.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR RURAL

India has ~70% of her population in villages and rural areas, whose development positively reflects on the development of the nation. The role of S&T in uplifting the rural areas of the nation can be concisely listed as:

-       Launching of ‘Solar Dome’ to illuminate the villages without electricity

-       Launching of scheme ‘Lab to Land’ enhances the agricultural yields with the prudent use of water.

-       Digital Literacy Mission’, to impact the knowledge on the use of digital platforms(smartphone, internet etc.,)

-       A-IDEA, an initiative by ICAR, to support agriculture.

-       Vertical farming technology, BIOSAT (Biochar based organic Soil Amendment Technology), organic-like Frontal Rain technologies. Digital Green Skymet, Ekgaon, Ageostar, Eruvaka Technology, support agriculture and crop production with their novel innovations in the different parts of India.

 

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR HEALTHCARE

Digital revolution leads to huge numbers of pioneering works in the medical field.

-       Ayushman Bharat Yojana, a National Health Protection Mission, provides hospitalization facilities for millions of poor families in India.

-       Digital innovations lead to Telemedicine and Tele-Consultations, which is playing the main role in the current situation (COVID-19 Lockdown)

-       AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IT (Information Technology) joins hand with  the medicos in automatic analysis of radiology images, ECG, X-rays, pathological slides, electronic Health record System, Picture archival and communication systems etc.,

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR DEFENCE

  • -       The invention of standoff weapons was one of the important advents of Revolution Military Affairs (RMA).
  • -       Introduction of Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMS) and computer networks render data secrecy and precise attack on targets etc., in the military.
  • -       C4ISR and network-centric tactics were some of the vital elements of Warfighting. The focus on network-centric warfare from weapon-centric warfare was another effort by RMA.
  • -       Further, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology will make a revolution in the future in designing nano-ships and nano-spacecraft with effective carrying and flying capabilities.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR EDUCATION

  • -       Digital India has made the education system reach nook and corner of the country with the care to learn anything, anywhere and at any time.
  • -       Students can reach out to the world from any part of the country, collect e-books, interact with experts, get sufficient coaching etc.,
  • -       Technological development made rapid progress research.
  • -       Availability of online software, tools and applications saves time which can be used for further research.
  • -       Communication of researchers and their discoveries to the world is now possible in a few seconds.
  • -       Technological innovations lead the scientists to recycle the waste beneficially, development of plant-based pesticides, construction materials, medicines, cosmetics etc., which are eco-friendly, human safe and economically efficient.

 

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL

  • Improving the living conditions of the people improves the status of the nation. For this to happen in a safe manner care must be taken to protect the Mother Nature as well. Biotechnology plays a prominent role in implementing many technologies in preserving the earth.
  • To mention a few, creating Vitamin-A rich ‘Golden rice’, flood-resistant, drought-resistant insects/pest-resistant crops and cereals etc., help the people adapt to current environmental conditions without affecting nature.
  • Bio-diesel/Bio-Fuel, bio-plastic, electric cars (also called as Green Cars), solar-powered bikes and bicycles etc., add to the novel innovations.
  • One of the major threat to Earth was the Ozone hole (found to be minimized now). Measures were taken to minimize the Green-house effect by implementing bio-remediation, use of biomaterials for various purposes so as to reduce the emissions of CO2, designing air-conditioners and refrigerators that did not use hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) & Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), etc.,

CONCLUSION

To make a detailed note on the interventions of S&T a lot more examples and illustrations can be provided. Technology is the one that bridges the gap between a developed nation and a developing nation. Current inventions in science and technology is a giant leap for a diversely populated country like India. Still, we achieve in many areas and move in all dimensions. For India to be completely self-reliant, in-depth research and new technologies that could boost agriculture, healthcare, sanitation, promote scientific findings, uplift the status of poor people etc., should be innovated. The potential of India’s young minds and the power of doctors and other citizens are being proved in the COVID-19 war. For sure, unity among Indians will promote India to its next level of “Self- Reliance”.

Writer: A. Rajalakshmi (raji.biotech98@gmail.com)

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