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The science of today is the technology of tomorrow. - Edward Teller

First of all, if we consider science as a whole, then we can point out that there are different branches of science like physics, chemistry, and the list goes on. With each passing century, we have been able to find new things or even a new branch in science. But if we consider the age of science, then which is the oldest science, or we can say a branch of science?? Well, it is Astronomy, and taking into account its entire history, it can be defined as the study of objects and phenomena of space. Now ultimately science can be defined simply as knowledge, as it comes from the Latin word “Scientia”, which also means knowledge.

Now the question arises, why do we need science?? To answer this, we must consider that everything which is present around us or the things which we are able to understand around us have all been possible because of the contributions of many great men. Great men like Galileo Galilei (who is considered the father of modern science) have contributed a lot to the advancement of science and technology.

Global competitive race

Being independent in the case of industries and other business-related fields after the independence has helped India in development. But during the last few decades of the 20th century, India did not take steps quickly enough to improve the technologies used in industrialization. The private companies which were the main players in the industrial sector didn’t pay much attention to improving technologies used for basic sectors. Minimal effort was put into improving the overall efficiency and output. This resulted in poor overall performance in factories and in the total outcome of the industries. We were also unable to keep up with the pace of the highly competitive world. But now we are performing well.

Due to all this, India did suffer a setback, after it missed the bus of a major industrial explosion consisting of electronic devices, high-power computers, the latest trends in phones, and many more. Even in the current scenario, India is one of the biggest consumers of electronic devices but in some sectors like smartphones, it is not one of the major manufacturers. So, it is now trying to play catch up with other developed countries that have a really good manufacturing ecosystem. For example, now TATA has decided to invest Rs. 11000 crores for manufacturing of iPhones in India. Another point to note is that after the COVID scenario, India is trying to establish a bigger foothold in the manufacturing sector by introducing incentives for foreign companies so that they can establish their manufacturing facilities in India. In this way, it will also help the end consumers as it will also reduce the price of the locally manufactured devices when compared to imported devices.

Taking a leaf out of the success story of Japan after World War 2, towards the end of the last century, countries like Singapore and Hong Kong progressed aggressively in overall development. Especially, South Korea made huge developmental progress in the electronics field. Now it is one of the main countries in terms of science and technology in this field. Even Taiwan made progress in the field of robotics and microprocessors. All of this has been made possible by proper planning in R&D, and new policies in order to support private companies, the business ecosystem, and most primarily educational and skill development sectors.

Nations like Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam have primarily applied effort in off-shore manufacturing in order to apply less effect on self-reliance in smaller and less important departments. This kind of development method is good for such countries as it will also help in job creation. But it will not be effective in a country like India, as it is a big country with a huge population and with various kinds of natural and environmental constraints like the vast greenery and highly diverse ecosystem. Along with these problems, there is also a hurdle of many kinds of social and sentimental values, and many other factors that need to be considered before taking any steps in the developmental field, especially before setting up a factory anywhere.

Future of India

As discussed above, India needs to take a lot of advanced steps in order to be ahead of others in this race of science and technology. For example, in the field of astronomy, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between India and Spain. It has been done between the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru and Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC), and the GRANTECAN S.A. (GTC), Spain. With the help of this partnership, India will be able to reap the benefits of new scientific results, new technologies, more capability in scientific training and research, along with joint scientific projects.

We all do know that there has been a lag in terms of the development speed in India considering the pace at which countries like Germany and Japan have moved ahead. But there are some fields like space research, robotics, biotech/ pharmacy, and a few more that still need a lot of research and India is highly capable of achieving success in such areas. For self-reliance, extreme efforts also need to be taken by the Indian Government in R&D fields by including research institutes as well as motivating the private sectors for improving the basic infrastructure in our country. Currently, this accounts for a meager 1% of the GDP.

Ultimately, one of the last but most important factors which need to be taken care of is the poor exposure of our population to education. Being educated is very important for us as the future generations of our country need to get acquainted with the new, improved, and also advancement techniques in the field of science and technology. In concluding terms, we also need to have a very strong and well thought out health care system as it is very much lacking in our country, because “For a country, a healthy outside starts from the inside”.

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