Charotar University of Science and Technology (CHARUSAT) hosted a Webinar on “Science, Technology and Development” (STD) on June 23, 2020. The esteemed speaker for the session was Suresh Prabhu, Member of Parliament, and Indian Emissary to the G 20, Member of United Nations Commission for Biodiversity & Land Use Change, and the Chair of the Global Water Partnership. The webinar was streamed live on YouTube and Facebook and attended by more than 1,265 participants around the world.
The session began with Dr. Devang Joshi, Registrar, CHARUSAT thanking Mohanbhai Patel, former Sheriff of Mumbai, for his support in making the event possible. In his preamble to the webinar he drew on The Two Factor Theory by Herzberg and linked it to the theme of the webinar of Science and technology and National Development. He then welcomed the speaker for the webinar Suresh P Prabhu and all the participants.
Suresh P Prabhu is currently a Member of Parliament and the Indian Emissary (Sherpa) to the G20 and G 7. He was part of several parliamentary Committees during his tenure as Cabinet Minister and was instrumental in passing several important Bills such as the Electricity Bill, 2001 and the Bills on Bio-Medical Waste and Municipal Solid Waste.
Suresh Prabhu began his session by emphasizing the role, science and technology plays to drive up the GDP of the nation from the current 16% to 20% or even 25%. Science and Technology should be used to drive up the three major pillars of the economy: industry, services and agriculture.
He emphasized that that use of technology should result in the ‘transformation’ of the lives of common people and aim at improving the quality of life. ‘Isotope hydrology Technology’ for example can be used to identify sources of clean water and also help in cleaning water.
Similarly, technology can be used to enhance food preservation techniques. Access to clean water and food through science and technology initiatives would aid the agriculture sector, improve the GDP and would also simultaneously help the consumers as well.
He stressed the need to search of renewable sources of energy as an alternative to the sources of fuel used by us today. The use of technology to generate ‘clean’ energy, would, help tackle the global issue of climate change , which would help agriculture and farmers in specific and the general
Development and happiness should go hand in hand and happiness can be achieved only when the quality of life improves. In order to exemplify his argument, he quoted Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and AMUL to argue that ‘happiness’ would come only when the quality of life is secure.
Universities such as CHARUSAT, can harness, redefine and reorient use of technology and science in such a way that it achieves the goal of transforming the quality of life of people.
The Question Answer session was moderated by Dr. Govind Dave, Dean, Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) and Principal, Indukaka Ipcowala Institute of Management (I2IM). To the question raised by Dr. Pankaj Joshi, Provost CHARUSAT on the unbalanced allocation of resources and attention in the education sector.
Suresh Prabhu focused on the generation of innovative ideas and emphasized the need to integrate liberal arts in the education curriculum to inspire creative ideas in the young minds.
Dr. Govind Dave raised the question on power generation, consumption and conservation in our country. Suresh Prabhu drew on his own experience in the Power Ministry and emphasized three key points to handle the issue of power, to balance supply and demand in power consumption, manage energy efficiency and finally to reduce carbon intensity.
The next set of questions revolved Swach Bharat and the issue of cleanliness with specific reference to clean water, clean rivers and railway stations. Shri Suresh Prabhu reiterated the pivotal role of the citizens of the country in keeping the natural resources such as rivers and our national amenities such as railway stations clean.
In his summative remarks to the webinar, Dr. Devang Joshi thanked Shri Suresh Prabhu for his valuable insights on how science and technology spring from the intellect in our minds and universities aid in the flowering of the intellect.
Surendra Patel, President, CHARUSAT, Dr. M C Patel, Secretary, Kelavani Mandal, Naginbhai Patel, President, CHEF, Advisors, Members of the Governing Body and Board of Management of CHARUSAT, Dr. Pankaj Joshi, Provost, CHARUSAT, Dr. Devang Joshi, Registrar and Dr. Govind Dave, Dean, FMS and Principal I2IM thanked all the participants for making the webinar a grand success.