Nagrik Dialogue

Decentralization, Decarburization and Discipline should be the pillars of Post- Covid India

Padma Vibhushan Dr RA Mashelkar  at Amity Eminent Webinar

As India embarks upon rapid economic recovery post-COVID, it should not go back to grey hazy sky and grey waters in its rivers and water bodies that marked  the kind of poor health of environment in the pre-Covid times, rather it should focus on Decentralization, Decarburization and Discipline as the three pillars of strength for economic recovery said Eminent Scientist Dr RA Mashelkar, past President of Indian National Science Academy and former Director General of CSIR  while delivering the Amity Eminent Webinar today organized by Amity University Gurugram.

The Post Covid world will be totally different than the world in which we have lived so far. The devastating impact of Covid Pandemic has made inequality to rise exponentially, it has badly disrupted livelihood throwing 49 million people  from poverty to extreme poverty in just 3 months. As such we need new economic models based on the 3 Rs, Restart, Rebuild and Recover fast with blue sky and blue river waters that shall create the post Covid prosperous, healthy and happy world  said Dr. Mashelkar while delivering his Keynote Address on “Reinventing and Re-imagining the Post-Covid World”.

Deliberating in great details on the post- Covid world Dr. Mashelkar further opined that the need for physical distancing would have to continue for some more time and work from home shall become a new normal for hybrid workforce models for most industries and corporates that may be based on three days from home and two days of physical presence in the office. The skilled workforce of tomorrow shall also be able to perform multiple jobs and time sharing would become a new normal. Aatmasanyam, Self-discipline and Aatmabiswas should be an integral part of recovery from the Covid crisis, said DrMashelkar.

Greatly admiring the call of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India for AatmaNirbhar Bharat Dr. Mashelkar said that “AatmaNirbbharta should not be taken as isolation rather should be inclusive of integration with global supply chain”. He further emphasized on 5 pillars for developing AatmaNirbhar Bharat that include Buy, Make, Make to Buy better, Buy to Make Betterand lastly Make it Together. For all this ‘continuous innovation’ shall remain the key for success. India can do it and do it fast. He cited the example of the 1990s when India was denied Super Computer for its space research but within no time India developed its own super computer  PARAM Super, making the advanced nations of the world to say that “Angry India Does It”. India’s scientist and technologist have great capabilities and during the challenging times they can surpass the imagination of the world in respect their scientific outcome.

Today we are in times of great challenge and thus the call for Aatma Nirbhar Bharat must be taken in the right spirit, said Dr. Mashelkar. India can do it, it is doable and must be done. Placing his great emphasis on the three Ts namely, Talent, Technology and Trust Dr Mashelkar was of the opinion that great opportunities  lie ahead for Indian Scientist and Technologist to take leadership position like they did in making IT as ‘Indian Talent’ that surpassed the imagination of the advanced nations of the world, DrMashelkar however cautioned that our efforts to rebuilt post-Covid world should ensure that the marginalized do not become more marginalized, as such, we need to ensure that high technology is made to work for the advantage of the  poor, creating both the employment as well as livelihood for over 80% population that lives in the villages of rural areas.

Dr Mashelkar recalled his recent participation in the Higher Education Conclave organized by Secretary General of UN wherein he has shared his thought on how digital transformation could bring about a sea chance in improving both the quality and access of education including higher education. He even informed that among other thoughts that emerged at the UN Global Higher Education Conclave it was the view that beyond the 17 SDGs we now need the 18th SDG and that is of ‘access to digital infrastructure for one and all’.

Responding to a question from the audience about the testing times for those Indian students who were desirous of going abroad for PG and PhDs but are unable to join their universities due to continuing Corona Pandemic, Dr Mashelkar said that look towards India and its great universities, and there is no dearth of such universities in India. Incidentally Dr Mashelkar had all his education in India including his PhD from the Institute of Chemical Technology of VJTI Mumbai under the illustrious mentorship of globally renowned scientist Dr MM Sharma.

Dr Mashelkar gave five Mashelkar mantras to the young students. These are 1.Your Aspirations are your Possibilities, 2. Nurture Perseverance in you, 3.There is no substitute of Hard Work, 4. Keep Knocking on Opportunities and lastly 5. There is no limit to human ingenuity and imagination. You must be optimistic and say that the best is yet to come.

Responding to another question on how could latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Data Science can benefit the poor Dr Mashelkar said that AI and Data Science will ensure a more robust planning of Atmanirbhar Bharat and shall also help in further refining our scientific tools of decision making to minimize waste and improve productivity of rural economy. We are currently sitting on a goldmine of opportunity to create a new wave of rural entrepreneurship powered by the innovative genius of young India, said Dr Mashelkar.

In the words of reverence, the Founder President of Amity Education Group, Dr Ashok K Chauhan said the Amity Education group is aligned to Dr Mashelkar’s mantra of Innovate and Excel. In amity Innovation is the life current of our education and research pursuits. Declaring it as one of the most important lectures in his life, the Founder President expressed his profound happiness in having Dr Mashelkar for such a thought proving action packed webinar

Hon’ble Chancellor of Amity University Haryana, Dr.Aseem Chauhan further expressed his profound delight in listening to the globally renowned thought leader Dr Mashelkar who is so deeply connected to Amity University. In line with your vision we in Amity are laying a great emphasis on research outcome, innovation and start-ups. Our Amity Innovation Incubator is the flagship of our commitment to cause innovations and start-ups in plenty said, Chancellor Dr Aseem Chauhan.

The Moderator of the webinar Vice Chancellor AUH Prof PB Sharma thanked all the participants and expressed his gratitude to Dr Mashelkar for such an inspiring and motivation lecture. Prof Sharma also thanked Dr Sanjana Vij for coordination and Dr JS Sondhi and his team for excellent IT support of making the webinar so successful.

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