New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the fifth India International Science Festival via video conferencing in Kolkata and said India has given the world a lot of great scientists. He also said that Indian history is rich, the country’s present is full of science and technological effects.

“We’ve given the world a lot of great scientists. Our history is rich, our present is full of science and technological effects, and our future is full of responsibilities. These responsibilities are humane, as well as modern, in line with science and technology,” PM Modi said during the inaugural ceremony.

PM Modi said the Central government is providing institutional support for both invention and innovation. “The eco-system for science and technology must be very strong. It must be effective and inspirational for generations. It is our attempt to put students into Atal Tinkering Labs from Class,” he added. He also said that more than 5,000 Atal Tinkering Labs have been formed with this idea, and apart from this, over 200 Atal Incubation Centres have been created.

He said that the science and technology ecosystem in the country should be very strong. “An ecosystem that is effective and also inspires generation after generation. We are moving in this direction,” he added.

He said that the students of the country should be able to solve the nation’s challenges in their own way, and thus, they have been provided opportunities to participate in several hackathons.

Talking about India’s growing index in terms of science and innovation, PM Modi said, “In the last three years, we have jumped from 81st rank to 52nd rank on the Global Innovation Index by these initiatives. Today, India is the world’s third-best start-up eco-system.”

Saying that unprecedented work is being done for higher education and innovation, PM Modi said a number of new institutions are being built, and functional autonomy is being provided for better results.

“After the arrival of the internet, a new demand was created. Today, a lot of Research and Development is solving demands created by the internet. Several sectors like healthcare or hospitality are taken care of by the internet,” he added.

Being organised in Kolkata from November 5 to 8, the festival was inaugurated at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, Kolkata, through video conferencing. Along with PM Modi, a host of other dignitaries including Minister for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan, and other Cabinet Ministers and State S & T Ministers, dignitaries, scientists, academicians, and government officials were present during the inaugural ceremony of the event.

The year’s festival will focus on the special role of women scientists and entrepreneurs in shaping the scientific growth injectors. In this grand festival, more than 28 events will be organised.