Three Years Of Modi Govt: Bridging The Gap
One of the major weak links today in the country is the academiaindustry connectivity
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Our nation has seen growth in leaps and bounds in the last three years under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in every sector including governance, education, health, economic development, energy, infrastructure and industrial growth.
Science and technology in strategic sectors such as space, atomic energy and defence have indeed witnessed outstanding accomplishments because of critical investment and flexibility in project management. Similar augmented investments are essential in other sectors of science and technology including agriculture, health, energy and environment.
The government should treat public-funded institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology, National Institutes of Technology and central universities on par with renowned private institutions that are also national assets. There should be no discrimination in terms of project sanction and creating research and development (R&D) infrastructure as the PM has been strongly propagating public-private-partnership (PPP) for national development. At this juncture, it is evident that students graduating from private institutions are many more in number compared to public-funded institutions.
The universities and academic institutions should be given adequate autonomy to choose their special academic programmes and courses, sometimes in collaboration with foreign universities for twin degree (joint degree) programmes, with proper guidelines issued by the government.
Academicians and scientists should be involved in nation building initiatives, not only as part of think tanks, but also in overseeing implementation of developmental initiatives by the government.
One of the major weak links today in the country is the academia-industry connectivity. The government should frame policies to intensify industry participation with academic institutions, not only for research and development projects but also for customising the curriculum to suit industry needs. Some major research areas for implementation on priority could be genetically-modified crops and foods and solar energy. The country needs more innovation incubators and research and innovation parks to bring together major stakeholders such as industry, academia and R&D organisations.
Integrated healthcare system, blending allopathy with Indian systems of medicine, needs to be augmented in all hospitals. Prophylactic healthcare through public health missions, using e-health and mobile health, needs to be implemented to realise Digital India in the health sector. The Food Safety Standard Authority of India needs to be empowered for ensuring the safety of food for our population’s consumption. The government can consider establishing a separate department of biomedical technology under the health ministry for promoting indigenous development of medical devices, instrumentation for diagnosis and therapeutics for providing affordable and accessible healthcare.
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