Need to create national structure to deal extraordinary situation like Covid-19: Principal Scientific Adviser to GoI

New Delhi: Prof K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to Govt of India, today stressed upon the need to reinvent in order to create a national structure which can deal with extraordinary situation like Covid-19.

Addressing a webinar on ‘How Science, Technology and Innovation can lift India out of the Covid-19 Pandemic through Public-Private Partnership’, organised by FICCI, jointly with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India and the Department of Science and Technology, Prof VijayRaghavan said, “We are good at doing something when someone else has already done it. We need to flip it around so that India leads in every sector. This is a wakeup call for us.”

Highlighting the post covid-19 scenario, he said that hygiene, use of contact tracing apps, testing and social distancing at workplace areas will be paramount and companies will have to ensure this. “Challenge going forward is how we will open workplaces without the vaccine and by ensuring social distancing, hygiene. Logistics, while difficult, will need to be worked out,” said Prof VijayRaghavan.

He added that industry, academia and everyone must work to clean up the environment.

Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India, said that the learnings from Covid-19 will go forward much more strongly into the future and get translated in our structures and process. Stressing on the need for a much stronger Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), Prof Sharma said, “Let us translate this into some purposeful rapid action and government is with industry. This can be done, and it ought to be done.”

Dr Arabinda Mitra, Scientific Secretary, Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, Govt of India, while discussing post Covid-19 and the role of ST&I, said that we must focus on key areas like technology intelligence within Industry bodies/industries; effective PPP for technology development, human capital, infrastructure capital and multi-consortium model by pooling together startups, academia, industry and technology diplomacy.

“India’s engagement in the past was reactive but now it has to be proactive. We are very open to co-collaborate. These collaborations can only happen when we are on an equal footing,” added Dr Mitra.

Dr Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI said that there cannot be a better moment to show that it is the Science and Technology that can help us fight what we have in our hand. “It is time for us to move into a more specialized program. We need to setup infrastructure to promote innovations by connecting people and institutions,” said Dr Reddy.