Page 46 - Science India August 2022
P. 46

Swatantrata ka Amrut Mahotsava
Coming home to India, had Homi Bhabha not conceptualised a Three- Stage Nuclear Programme, today we would not have a thorium-based reac- tor. Had Nambi Narayanan not had a passion for liquid-fueled rocket engines in the 1960s and his love channelised by Vikram Sarabhai and Satish Dhawan, India would not have its VIKAS engines and nor would have India flown to the Moon in 2008.
Thinking science, planning science, doing science, and reaping comprehen- sive benefits from the achieved science is time-consuming. Any country or an international grouping that is habitual of successfully culminating such long- gestation projects, do take it from me, they are bound to acquire high geopoliti- cal resilience, they can endure the stron- gest of economic turbulences, and they cultivate far-sighted and deep-rooted cultures. Overall these are the attributes of a superpower.
Amrit Kaal is an era of Tapasya (single- mindedness) for India. Regardless of external disturbances, internal turmoil, disasters, or wars, India will have to work hard on its scientific undertak- ings. During the Amrit Kaal, the Indian policymakers must ensure that the finan- cial, regulatory, and resource support for science and technology, regardless of its antecedents — government, commercial or military labs — does not diminish. The Indian policymakers will have to ensure that delays are minimised, and patient support is offered to projects that inherently require time.
There is a genuine interest in compre- hending what sort of ongoing scientific projects would continue in the next 25 years and what new would India kick- start in these years.
Let’s start with astronomy; during the Amrit Kaal, India would have fully established and gained operational ex- perience with its leadership and part- nership, the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii, the LIGO-India in Maharash- tra, the ITER in France, and the Square Kilometer Array in Africa and Australia.
In Amrit Kaal (2022- 2047), first Indians would venture into space through the indigenous Gaganyaan mission
Many of these projects would cultivate cutting-edge capabilities in optics, op- toelectronics, metamaterials, artificial intelligence, and big data.
By then, with biological sciences, In- dia would have accomplished the large citizen-science megaproject ‘MANAV Human Biology Atlas’ initiated in 2019. In the next 25 years, the Atlas would
Coming home to India, had Homi Bhabha not conceptualised a Three- Stage Nuclear Programme, today we would not have a thorium-based reactor
Image Courtesy: ISRO
generate voluminous data, thanks to the world’s largest and most diverse na- tional population, of great significance to global endeavours of raising healthy humanity. Given the current emphasis on Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy, and other forms of traditional medicine, India, in these 25 years, would emerge as the global preventive- and holistic-health capital.
On the front of chemical sciences, India, in the next twenty-five years, would have achieved a substantial chunk of its net zero emissions goal that it has set for achieving by 2070. India would accomplish this goal by promoting a circular economy, recycling, reusing, refurbishing, and recirculating chemi-

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