COVID-19 serves as a clarion call to achieve Atmanirbhar Bharat, says Dr Raghunath Mashelkar

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New Delhi: COVID-19 has brought into the country a clarion call for everyone to rebuild, recover, and re-imagine ourselves in order to achieve Atmanirbhar Bharat, said Padma Vibhushan, Dr Raghunath Anant Mashelkar.

He was delivering a talk on “Building Atmanirbhar Bharat with Atmabishwas” under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Summer Research Training Programme (CSIR-SRTP), 2020, programme coordinated by the North East Institute of Science and Technology (CSIR-NEIST).

Dr Mashelkar said that in our endeavour to attain self-reliance or Atmanirbhar Bharat, we cannot isolate ourselves from the world but integrate with global supply chain. He emphasized on five pillars of ‘atmanirbharata’ – Buy, Make, Buy to make better, Make to buy better, and Make it together (building public-private partnerships). He said that he has unequivocal confidence in the youth power of the country, which needs to be harnessed with a back-up of technology and trust, for our country to flourish.

Dr Mashelkar was of the view that the ‘Make in India’ initiative should not only focus on assembling products, but inventing in India as well. He said that assembling products will no doubt create jobs, but for newer substitutes, we need to do vigorous research. Underlining the importance of research, he said research converts money into knowledge and innovation converts knowledge into money, so both needs to go hand in hand for our nation to prosper. He emphasized that we have talent and technologies but now we need to build trust or believe in our capabilities.

This is important because the post-COVID-19 world would be looking for an alternative destination to China as the trust on them is lost. And India has emerged as a viable alternative for which India needs to build proper logistics and adequate infrastructure to ease the process of doing business and build a favourable climate for foreign investments.

He said that India’s fortune is going to change in a big way because she is recognised as one of the politically trusted countries of the world. He concluded by elucidating upon 10 Mashelkar mantras (or the 10 RAM Mantras), namely: (1) Aim high – Aspirations are your possibilities; (2) Perseverance; (3) We are always a part of the solution not the problem; (4) Create your own doors when all the other doors are closed; (5) Work hard in silence, let success make all the noise; (6) Three important attributes – Innovation, Passion, Compassion in the heart; (7) We can do anything but not everything – Focus on what you do; (8) Be positive; (9) New skills and new technologies are required as the world is changing; and (10) There is no limit to human imagination, human achievement, and human endurance.

His message to the youth brigade is to believe that the best is yet to come and urged everybody to keep working hard and age should not be a deterrent, and that will only take our country to the zenith, which is his dream for an Atmanirbhar Bharat with ‘atmabishwas’.

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