Dr Shekhar C Mande
Ex-Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
India has a rich history of science and technology. Our founding fathers have emphasised the importance of science and technology in solving the challenges of our nation.
According to you, what is the role of CSIR in the science and technology ecosystem?
India has a rich history of science and technology. Our founding fathers have emphasised the importance of science and technology in solving the challenges of our nation. In fact, the importance of developing a scientific temperament has been codified in Article 51A of our constitution as a fundamental duty of every citizen. At the time of our country’s independence, India faced several challenges, such as low infant mortality and low industrial growth. CSIR and the 37 labs under its umbrella have played a critical role in addressing several of these challenges and working with the industry to create societal impact. As we celebrate 80 years of CSIR, our vision is to pursue science that strives for global impact, technology that enables innovation-driven industries and nurture trans-disciplinary leadership, thereby catalysing inclusive economic development for the people of India.
What are some of the ways in which CSIR is encouraging science-based entrepreneurship?
CSIR labs are the most prolific patent holders in the country. We have a strong culture of working in close collaboration with the industrial community and transferring our scientific knowledge and skills to the industrial community to create impact and bring about measurable change. We have several incubators, such as Venture Center, Pune, and CSIR-CCMB, Hyderabad, associated with our labs. We recently started an aerospace incubator in collaboration with Social Alpha and NRDC at Bengaluru. These incubators have several programmes to hand-hold science-based entrepreneurs and mentor them.
What is your message to the scientists interested in creating societal impact based on their research?
Scientists are motivated to do research for different reasons ranging from purely advancing knowledge, translating the knowledge accrued to technology and catalysing societal impact. To create societal impact based on research, it is important to have a mindset of creating wealth from research. This requires thorough assessment of societal needs and addressing them using science. It is a process that requires both deep thinking and courage. The scientists also need to collaborate with others to perform market research and raise necessary funds. The start-up policy of India has given a large boost to our entrepreneurs to take innovative technologies to the market. With such proactive policies to support them, these are truly exciting times for scientists and entrepreneurs across India to create real societal impact by taking their scientific innovations and technologies to market taking their scientific innovations.
Dr Suman Bery
VC, NITI Aayog
One of the objectives of NITI Aayog is to create a knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system
Dr V K Saraswat
Member, Niti Aayog
Science is a tool for solving our society’s problems and has the power to transform civilizations.
Shri Amitabh Kant
Former CEO, NITI Aayog
India aims to be a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25. Nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship
Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood
Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to Government of India
The Office of Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA)