Kolkata, Jan 7 (IANS) India needs to strengthen its translational research sector to become one of the five global scientific powers by 2020, eminent agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan said here Monday.
"We need to strengthen our translational technology to become one of the five global scientific powers by 2020. Many of the scientific researches have got applied value, which need to be converted into commercial products and processes," said Swaminathan at the concluding session of the five-day Indian Science Congress that began here Jan 3.
Stressing on the need to redouble efforts in harnessing science for meeting the needs of our people in food and nutrition, water, sanitation, education, healthcare, shelter and energy, he highlighted the issue of women's empowerment in agriculture.
"Women's empowerment in agriculture needs special attention. I have introduced a bill for this purpose in the Rajya Sabha. Women farmers must be able to do their work economically and efficiently," said Swaminathan.
Terming the eastern states of West Bengal, Bihar and Assam "sleeping giants of agriculture", Swaminathan called for utilising the resources of the states for the country's growth and benefit.
"These eastern states have got enormous potential in terms of agriculture. We must tap them for the growth and benefit of our country," advised Swaminathan.
Swaminathan also emphasised the role of scientists in anticipatory action and research for effective disaster management.
"In places like the Sunderbans, rise in sea level will lead to a large number of climate refugees seeking safer locations. Anticipatory research to meet these challenges is important. We must hope for the best and prepare for the worst," said Swaminathan.