The major focus of the celebration was to highlight India's contributions in the development of science and technology and to rejoice the unsung science heroes of India.
The theme of focus for the evening was 'State of Agriculture: Opportunities and Challenges.'
The event was chaired by Professor Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog, Government of India. Shankar V Tatwawadi, Patron VIBHA; Dr Omkar Rai, Director General, Software Technology Parks of India; Dr D. K. Aswal, Director, CSIR-NPL and A. Jayakumar, National General Secretary, VIBHA were other dignified guests.
The programme was also attended by academicians, scientists, researchers as well as post graduate students. Senior Scientists from elite institutions like CSIR, Ministry of Information and Technology, IARI, AICTE were amongst the distinguished audiences.
Tatwawadi highlighted how from the millennial period, India has advanced in science. From Charak Sushrut to Venkataraman Ramkrishnan, many scientists have contributed towards growth and development of world science. He also stressed on the importance of indigenous technology, ancient scientific heritages of Vedas for betterment of Indian people and society.
Sketching a vivid portrait of K. S. Sudarshan through his words, he explained how he strived for the upliftment of Indian farmers. A strong votary of Swadeshi Science, late Sudarshanji masterminded the creation and evolution of VIBHA in 1991. He urged scientists and youths to find the solution of the problems at local and socially accepted.
Chand focused his talk precisely on the theme of State of Agriculture. "It may be noted that agriculture is a 'state subject' under the Constitution of India. However, the central government plays a crucial role in shaping agricultural policies. Although Indian agriculture is in private hands, government policies have greatly influenced its pace and character," he said.
He mentioned how his roots from an agricultural household has helped him in understanding the facets, issues and challenges in agriculture and hence planning new conventions to tackle the issues.
Explaining the role of Agriculture in India, he explained how India has moved from agriculture oriented country when it contributed 60% of India's economy and growth, has now declined. India accounts for 7.68% of total global agricultural output. Indian Agriculture is facing several challenges. These include sustaining investment, climate change, high fluctuations in prices and production, undeveloped markets, relative profitability of Agriculture vis-a-vis other sectors, raising small holder productivity, providing livelihood to large numbers, containing the cost of production and retaining International Competitiveness.
Meanwhile, A Jayakumar discussed the future prospects Indian agriculture. Explaining some of the issues he also made the audience exercise their minds in searching for possible solutions to the issue.
Jayakumar also mentioned how VIBHA plans in future to emphasize on agricultural development and directing all the developments in agricultural sciences towards the benefits of agriculture at the root level. He also vowed to bring agriculture scientists and take up projects to ameliorate the condition of farmers even not done by the successive governments so far. (ANI)