President Ram Nath Kovind has said that the benefits of scientific research will make the best impact only when it reach the less-privileged institutions, the youth, women and socio-economically weaker segments.

Addressing the National Science Day celebrations in New Delhi yesterday, Mr Kovind called on people to resolve to enhance quality and relevance of the scientific enterprise in the country. He said, science must work for the people by contributing to their development and well-being.

The President said, since independence, India has placed special emphasis on promotion of scientific temper and the Indian Constitution itself has enshrined this attitude as a fundamental duty. He said, India has a long and glorious tradition of scientific enquiry.

From ancient times to the medieval era and then the modern period, India has been home to exceptional minds who have pushed the frontiers of human knowledge. Mr Kovind said, India today stands third after China and the US in terms of the number of publications in science citation index journals. He said, it is the duty of every citizen of the country to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of enquiry and reform.

Speaking about the theme of this year's National Science Day which is 'Women in Science', Mr Kovind said, in order to encourage women to take to higher studies in science, he has substantially enhanced the representation of women in central universities as visitor’s nominee.

He said, the step is taken to create a favourable environment of higher studies and employment in faculty positions for women. The President said, during his recent visit to Sriharikota Range of Indian Space Research Organisation he came across a woman scientist so dedicated to the Chandrayaan project that she left her six month old son with her parents and joined the mission.

He said, despite the presence of such highly motivated women scientists, India’s Research and Development workforce has less than 15 per cent women, compared to the global average of 30 per cent.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan urged scientists to join national endeavour to give solutions to problems arising in different spheres.

He said, Science and Technology Ministry has launched many schemes to empower young scientists. The Minister said, in order to boost innovation a national programme NIDHI, National Initiative For Developing And Harnessing Innovations has already been launched.

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