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PM inaugurates Nobel Prize Series at Vibrant Gujarat Summit; Nobel laureates opine that India has a great potential to be a scientific powerhouse


At the Nobel Prize Series held as part of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017, several Nobel laureates opined that India has a great potential to be a scientific power and consider investing more in basic & fundamental researches. Dr. Venkatraman Ramkrishnan pointed out that there is a lot of scope for research on vaccines in India.

By Team ABLE

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Nobel Prize Series Exhibition at Science City in Ahmedabad as part of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017. He greeted the nine Nobel Laureates present on the occasion and hoped that they would inspire the future scientists from all corners of India, who had come together for the occasion.

He said that it was an ideal platform to engage citizens to learn about solutions to global challenges we face. “Our vision in Science and Technology is to make sure
that opportunity is available to all our youth. That training and future preparedness should make our youth employable in the best places. India should be a great science destination. We will strive to make this Science City a truly attractive, world-class place for young students and science teachers from all over the country and the world to come and be inspired by the exhibits,” addressed PM Modi.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted that history had been created by having a galaxy of Nobel Laureates in Gujarat and expressed his delight to see so many of our young students, while inaugurating the first Nobel Prize Series Exhibition at Science City Ahmedabad.

Nobel Laurates’ Opinion

Several Nobel laureates opined that India has a great potential to be a scientific power and consider investing more in basic & fundamental researches. The themes of the dialogue were captured by artists as they were speaking to a huge gathering of scientists, students and general public as a part of the first Nobel Prize Series being held in Ahmedabad in conjunction with the biennial summit of Vibrant Gujarat.

The Program christened as Nobel Dialogue saw active participation of Nine Nobel Laureates including Dr Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Dr Richard Roberts, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, Dr Harold Varmus, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, Dr. Randy Schekman, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, David Gross, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics, Dr Ada Yonath, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry, Dr Serge Haroche, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics and Dr William E Moerner Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry.

The dialogue was held in two sessions: 1. Basic or Applied Research? Fostering an Innovative Environment and 2. Local Research, Global Impact: Addressing Global
Challenges.

Interesting discussions ranging from getting rid of mosquitoes to tackle malaria, research for finding out new vaccines, genetic modification of food crops and the
need for strengthening education particularly science education were discussed at these two sessions.

The first dialogue was introduced and moderated by the Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan and the second by the Deputy Chairman, Nobel Foundation Dr Goran K Hansson. Several students and Scientists posed interesting questions to Nobel Laureates.

Dr Venkatraman Ramkrishnan pointed out that there is a lot of scope for research on vaccines in India. Dr. Richards Roberts pointed out that 125 Nobel Laureates have signed in favor of Genetically modified food crops and that opposition against them is unjustifiable as about 800 million people world over go without food every
night.

Dr Randy Schekman said that India with a history of having had Nalanda University over 1000 years before the first university in other parts of the world should think
of having a high quality affordable education system. The Laureates said that they shared their ideas with the Prime Minister at a dinner meeting that they had with
Shri Narendra Modi on Monday evening.

The dialogue was part of the Nobel Prize Series, India 2017, formally inaugurated by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, on January 9, 2017. The Nobel Prize Series Science Exhibition, also inaugurated by the Prime Minister at the Science City in Ahmedabad is meanwhile attracting large number of people. The five-week long Science Exhibition being set up by the Nobel Foundation, with exhibits from the Nobel Museum, Stockholm, Sweden.

As a run-up to these events, a nationwide Ideathon contest was organized, that invited ideas from students that could address any challenges faced by society. The ideas were reviewed by a panel of experts and about 150 students from across the country were selected and have been invited to participate and meet with the Nobel Laureates.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed last year by Nobel Media and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India for hosting Nobel Prize Series in India for the next five years.

After this agreement, a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Department of Biotechnology of Government of India, the Government of Gujarat and the Nobel Media. Accordingly, the first of the Nobel Prize Series, India 2017 is being held as a prelude to Vibrant Gujarat to demonstrate how science and discovery underpins all enterprise and human well-being under the overall theme of “Science Impacts Lives”.