Tech can be harnessed to better lives of underprivileged: PM

25 February, New Delhi


Lauding the contribution of scientists like Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose, Hargobind Khurana and Satyendranath Bose in bringing laurels for the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said technology can be harnessed to better the lives of the underprivileged, the marginalised and the needy.

Speaking in his Mann Ki Baat programme on All India Radio on Sunday,  Modi said, ”When we talk about science, the first name that strikes us is that of Bharat Ratna Sir CV Raman. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his outstanding work on light scattering. One of his discoveries is famous as the Raman Effect. We celebrate the 28th of February as National Science Day since on this very day, he is said to have discovered the phenomenon of light scattering, for which the Nobel Prize was conferred upon him. This land has given birth to many a great scientist.”

“On the one hand, there has been a tradition of great Mathematicians like Bodhayan, Bhaskar, Brahmagupta and Aryabhatt; on the other, in the field of medicine, Sushruta and Charak have bestowed upon us a place of pride. Right from Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose and Hargobind Khurana to Satyendranath Bose have brought laurels to India. The famous particle BOSON has been named after Satyendranath Bose. Recently I got an opportunity to take part in a programme in Mumbai the inauguration of the Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence. It was interesting to know about the ongoing miraculous accomplishments in the field of Science. Artificial Intelligence aids in making robots, Bots and other machines meant for specific tasks. Through self learning, machines today can enhance their intelligence to a smarter level. This technology can be harnessed to better the lives of the underprivileged, the marginalized and the needy.”

Stressing need to explore if Artificial Intelligence can be used as tool to simplify the outreach of health services and modernise medical treatment, the PM said, ”In that programme on Artificial Intelligence, I urged the scientific community to deliberate on how Artificial Intelligence could help us make life easier for our divyang brothers and sisters. Can we make better predictions of natural disasters using Artificial Intelligence? Can we use it to provide assistance to farmers on crop yield? Can Artificial Intelligence be used as tool to simplify the outreach of health services and modernize medical treatment?”

The Prime Minister said, science and technology are value neutral and it is used as per the humanitarian needs. ”Science and Technology are value neutral. They don’t possess any value in themselves. Any machine will work the way we want it to. It entirely depends on us what task we want it to perform. Here human objectives assume significance; the use of Science for the sole purpose of human welfare, with the endeavour to assist human lives touch the greatest heights,” he said.

Thus, as a great sage, he questioned every facet of life. Extracting answers, he showed the right path to humanity.

Stressing need for possessing the relentless quest to ask questions for knowing the truth , the PM said, ”this is the very essence, the real inspiration behind scientific inventions and discoveries. Never rest till every ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ are answered. I congratulate our scientists, and all those connected with science on the occasion of National Science Day. May our young generation be inspired for the quest of truth and knowledge; may they be motivated to serve society through Science. I wish them the best.”

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