Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said technological innovation is one of the key drivers to boost economy, and stressed the need for investing more on R&D with focus on enhancing the intellectual capital through radically new approaches.
He also appealed to Corporate India to develop a symbiotic partnership with universities and other academic institutions and contribute towards promoting research and development.
"Technological innovation is one of the key drivers to boost economy, improve people's lives, and enable better delivery of services," Naidu said.
Delivering the valedictory address at the 107th Indian Science Congress in Bengaluru, he said: "there is also a crying need for our universities and scientific institutions to promote R&D on a big scale."
The academia-industry linkage has to be expanded not only to provide employment to those coming out of the portals of higher education institutions, but also to promote research and innovation in a big way, he said.
"India, like no other country, has a huge demographic dividend waiting to be realised. If we don't make the big leap forward in terms of quality of learning in our educational institutions, we will have missed a great opportunity," he added.
The Vice President also said the country has to invest more on R&D and focus on enhancing the intellectual capital through radically new approaches.
The approaches will have to be forward looking and more receptive to adaptation of the best ideas as well as seeking solutions required for India and in the global context, he said.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa was among those present at the valedictory of the event that was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 3.
Naidu said "as the country aims to become a $5 trillion economy in the coming years, we need to fully leverage the demographic advantage with science and technology playing a leading role in driving the economic and social development."
Stating that the need of the hour is to foster the spirit of inquisitiveness, curiosity, and scientific temper right from the primary school level, he said: "Science teaching plays an important role in this regard. It must ignite young minds and create a passion for science. Schools must sow the seeds for scientific temper and create an un-quenching curiosity to learn and understand new things."
It should be remembered that a country like India cannot depend on imported food security and needs to have own home-grown food security.
"Unless there are concerted efforts in this direction, I am afraid that more and more people will leave agriculture and shift to other occupations," he said.
Naidu emphasised the critical role technology can play in enhancing both quality and quantity across the agriculture value chain. He stressed that scientific research should also focus on making advanced machinery for a variety of agricultural activities from spraying to post-harvest handling of produce.
"Thus, the adoption of modern technology can greatly help to realise our vision to double the income of farmers in the coming years," he said.