Asserting that the world also takes a leap ahead when India prospers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the clarion call for an ''Aatmanirbhar Bharat'' includes a vision of global welfare and sought support of the Indian diaspora to realise this dream.
He also underlined the need to amplify the rich history of Indian science and said many historical questions have been solved with the help of science over the last century.
"India's clarion call of an ''Aatmanirbhar Bharat (Sel-Reliant India) includes a vision of global welfare. To realise this dream, I invite you all and seek your support," Modi said at the inauguration of the Vaishvik Bhartiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit, a global virtual summit of overseas and resident Indian researchers and academicians being organised from October 2-31, 2020.
"Recently India introduced pioneering space reforms. These reforms provide opportunities for both industry and the academia," Modi said while listing numerous steps taken by his government to boost science, research and innovation.
He further said the government wants top-class scientific research to help the farmers.
"Our agricultural research scientists have worked hard to ramp up our production of pulses. Today we import only a very small fraction of our pulses. Our food-grain production has hit a record high," he said.
Modi further said his government is encouraging indigenous vaccine production.
"Four new vaccines were introduced into our communication programme in 2014 including an indigenously developed Rotavirus vaccine," he said.
Modi said the VAIBHAV summit has brought together eminent people from India as well as from abroad, making it a confluence of great minds from across the world.
"You have also made some good suggestions for improving the research ecosystem in India. I hope this summit is going to be very productive," he told the participants.
Referring to the time periods like the stone age, the bronze age, the iron age, the space age and the digital age, Modi said each of those marked some key technological advancements.
"I would like to thank the scientists who offered their suggestions and ideas today. You have brilliantly covered many subjects. Most of you highlighted the importance of greater collaboration between the Indian academic and research ecosystem with their foreign counterparts," he said.
The aim of the summit is to bring Indian origin luminaries in academic institutes and R&D organisations across the world and resident counterparts on a single platform to debate upon collaboration mechanisms to strengthen academic and S&T (science and technology) base in India for global development.
The inauguration was followed by online deliberation sessions.
The initiative involves multiple levels of interactions among overseas experts and Indian counterparts over a month-long series of webinars and video conferences, among other activities. More than 3,000 overseas Indian origin academicians and scientists from 55 countries and more than 10,000 resident academicians and scientists are taking part in the summit.
About 200 academic institutes and S&T departments, led by Principal Scientific Advisor, are organising the summit running through October.
Over 1,500 panelists from 40 countries, 200 leading Indian R&D and academic institutions are virtually deliberating in 18 different areas and 80 topics in more than 200 deliberation sessions.
The concluding session is planned on October 31 on the occasion of Sardar Patel Jayanti.