Minister not to lead Scientists’ delegations abroad: Dr Jitendra

Excelsior Correspondent
NEW DELHI, Aug 13 :  Dr  Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, MoS in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Space & Atomic Energy, stated in the Lok Sabha today that one of the earliest decisions taken by him after assuming the charge of Ministry of Science & Technology was that the Minister, that is, he himself will not lead any delegation of scientists abroad to a foreign country unless it is absolutely essential for reasons of policy decision or related issues.The statement was received with applause and thumping of desks from members across party lines including the opposition benches.
In reply to the questions of senior Congress Member Shashi Tharoor regarding foreign collaboration in the field of Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh said, several new initiatives have been taken in this direction. In this context, he referred to the visit of Japanese Minister of Science & Technology to India on August 5, during which, the setting up of a Bio-technology and Life Sciences Centre in India was proposed and the visiting Minister had readily agreed. On the pattern of European Economic Union, Dr Jitendra Singh said , he had muted the idea of having an Indo-French Science Society.
Referring to the collaboration with United Kingdom, Dr Jitendra Singh informed that the “Newton programme” in collaboration with UK had been, at our suggestion, renamed as “Newton- Bhabha Programme” to commemorate the memory of great Indian Scientist Homi Bhabha.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that one of the world’s most prestigious international Science conferences called the “Carnidge Meet” will be for the first time held in India in 2015 in response to a proposal from his Ministry.  We have also offered to hold the first ever Commonwealth Conference on Science & Technology at Bengaluru in November this year, he added.
In response to another query by Shashi Tharoor as to why the percentage of over-all Science publications in India was low in comparison to other countries, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the situation is fast improving and today India stands at position No.7 in the world in terms of number of scientific papers published from any country and his Ministry has chalked out a road map to soon achieve 6th position in the world in the area of basic sciences.

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