Scientists, not ministers, to lead teams abroad: Govt

Big move by S&T ministry

Scientists, not ministers, to lead teams abroad: Govt

In an attempt to bring science “closer to society”, the Centre has decided that all scientific delegations within the country as well as abroad will be led by eminent scientists and not ministers.

Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences, said the idea was to make these trips fruitful for the country’s scientists and not serve as jaunts for political leaders.

“We have taken a major decision. Perhaps for the first time in the last 60 years, a minister will not go to any of the scientific conferences in India or foreign countries as the head of a science delegation,” he said. 

He asserted that the country would benefit by putting scientists in the forefront. “This will ensure that our scientists get more opportunities to interact with their colleagues within the country and abroad,” Singh told reporters in Jammu.

Singh, who is a Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said: “I asked my officials to depute scientists to attend two international conferences scheduled in Santiago and Boston after I was told that the practice was to send a delegation led by a minister.”

He said the old practice had to be stopped and the government would “select those scientists who will present original papers to lead the delegation”.

Indicating that sending ministers as heads of delegations was history, Singh said on July 25 one such delegation would be led by an eminent scientist.

Singh, who retired as a professor of diabetology & endocrinology before entering politics, said: “We intend to use science for the social transformation of this country. We want to make it society-friendly and take it closer to society at large.”

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