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Future will be shaped by societies that invest in science and innovation: PM


By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, OCT 20, 2020: PRIME Minister, Narendra Modi, delivered the keynote address at Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the future will be shaped by societies that invest in science and innovation. He said the benefits of science and innovation can be reaped at the right time by investing in it well in advance, instead of having a short sighted approach. He said the journey to these innovations must be shaped by collaboration and public participation. He added science will never prosper in silos and the Grand Challenges Programme has understood this ethos well. He commended the scale of this programme wherein several nations were engaged globally and addressed diverse issues such as Antimicrobial Resistance, Maternal and Child Health, Agriculture, Nutrition, WaSH - (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), and many others.

The Prime Minister said the global pandemic has made us realise the importance of teamwork. He said the diseases do not have geographic boundaries and do not discriminate on the grounds of faith, race, gender or colour. He added these diseases also include several communicable and non-communicable diseases that are impacting people. He said a strong & vibrant scientific community and good scientific institutions in India have been India's greatest assets, especially during the last few months, while fighting COVID-19. He added they have achieved wonders from containment to capacity building.

The Prime Minister said COVID-19 death rate in India is very low in spite of the large population due to the people powered and people driven approach. He added today, there is a decline in the number of cases per day, decline in the growth rate of cases and has one of the highest recovery rates of 88 percent. He said this happened because India: was one of the first countries to adopt a flexible lockdown, was one of the first to encourage the usage of masks, actively began to work on effective contact-tracing and was one of the earliest to deploy the rapid antigen  tests.