Quantum Leap: Full Degree Technology, One and Half Degree Climate

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Jaipur, India – Last month when I joined a discussion on sustainable technologies by Gideon Behar, Israel’s special envoy for Climate Change and Sustainability, I wondered how a self-proclaimed start-up nation is working in niche segment of climate efficient options to boost its economy and convince the world about competence to meet global needs. Our virtual life overloaded with information sharing and idea selling is keeping new-normal in mind and eye on possibilities.

Special roads for electric vehicles for automatic charging, plant-based proteins, vegan eggs, cultured meat through cells without animal harvesting, lab produced milk with nutrients of cow milk and whole range of fascinating innovations, this tiny nation is building dialogue around technology, impacts of digital diplomacy and hand-shaking with Arab world for entry into potential global markets.

While India is showing its prowess through policy reforms and re-frames, each of which is noticeable enough as breaking away from conventional is always faced with apprehensions than hopes. New Education policy in India is facing its first colossal challenge of stepping out virtually amid Covid chaos when schools and college campus are lifeless with missing millennia in class rooms, labs and play grounds, alongside investment in tinkering labs and innovation hubs holding the seed for deep science.

One side of the truth is about craving in rural India to compete with urban conceit and co-exist with digital power taking all advantage of the same in many ways. Undeterred by all hurdles, revolutionary policy positions are finding their passage through parliament but are resisted through people’s voices outside. It’s not always about numbers there, but about arguments, negotiations and statistics which can only bear the torrent of bold steps to keep us in good stead globally by making us stronger internally.

When farm bills in India are keeping the winter warmer every way, on the anvil is fifth STIP (Science, Technology and Innovations Policy) with more budget and academic leadership promising firm foothold with research-industry interface. Those who have invested their hard work in laboratories and creative zones are sure to re-vitalize the globe with whole range of experiments, not ignoring the intuitive brain, referred as sacred gift by Einstein as against logical one which he identified as our humble servant.

Our policy makers have a tough task ahead to reconstruct and re-design social and economic frames befitting all segments of society for equal opportunities and benefit sharing which might sometime go beyond logic also. It needn’t be a strategic fit, rather be validated and tested as world can’t afford more disruptions than already on our plate. Though, none can guarantee what may be coming our way unwarranted through bio-weaponry, war-fare or climatic crisis, ridiculing probability of any among these will be at our own peril.

We definitely want business not as usual and here, visionary politicians and sustainable technologies are our big hope for a connected, diverse and peaceful world. Calculated risks are certainly better than mindless moves and imaginary projections. This is very crucial time when loud-mouth politicians must be given strong worded caution to either learn to speak language of science or better stay in silos and silence as every scientific discovery or advancement doesn’t necessarily have roots in our ancient texts and mythologies.

As US has gotten rid of Trump, India also need to cut the stubbles of unsubstantiated claims, jibes and fake forwards, as these have as much potential to ruin the dream of a nation aspiring to be a ‘Vishva Guru’ (world leader) in all seriousness. Science Social Responsibility is also an idea, new Science policy is floating to remain seeded in the fabric of society and ethics. India Science Channel, an OTT platform launched by government is an effort to ignite our ideas and popularize science in simple and direct way.

India’s policy think tank Niti Ayog is expressing that Indian economy is on recovery mode and projected to become third-largest by 2047. With uncertain US economy and China growing by 4.5% India has already attained 3rd position globally with more than 15,000 science-technology start-ups out of which a 100 targeted at the Covid-challenge. We certainly are making a big shift toward knowledge economy ranking third in scientific papers publications and problem-solving approach ab-initio.

More money and tools in research and development will ensure quantum leap which is already promised with steps like 8000 crore Indian rupee (around 1.2 billion USD) funding for Quantum technology, our un-discovered treasure trove. Collaborations is also a definite way to expand markets for indigenously developed technologies and this is where the agriculture sector demands much attention. Indian agriculture is largest of all sectors employing 55% of work force but contributing to 16% in GDP, the efficiency will only come with technology and shared knowledge.

Australian and Indian researchers are working together to advance Covid-19 studies with four million dollars investment by Morrison government. Karen Andrews, Minister of Industry, Science and Technology briefs about Australian-India strategic fund, which is largest fund dedicated to bilateral science collaborations through which both countries have also committed to developing risk management systems to protect farmers from disasters associated with climate change touching upon the issues of food-drying using renewable energy and reducing pollution in food processing sector.

India is in full gear shifting to electric vehicles by 2030, subsidizing solar for farmers and national and sub-national climate action plans ready guiding all policies for clean energy and efficient technology. As per UN report, India’s per capita global emission is 60% lower than global average and historically its contribution to carbon emission is 3% while US has 25%, EU 22%, China 13% share. China is releasing 30% greenhouse gases, US 13.5% and EU 8.7% still. Environment Minister of India Prakash Javdekar has set eight targets for 2021-30 to reduce emissions intensity and has cut down CO2 emissions by 164 million kg already. One and half degree rise in temperature is the limit set for our survival for which full degree efforts are bare necessity.

About the author

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Dr Shipra Mathur is the Consulting Editor.

Academic Background: PhD (Journalism), First candidate in Rajasthan to clear UGC - NET in Journalism year 1997, MJMC (Gold Medal), BJMC - President University Dept Student Union, MA (English Lit), BSc (Bio) – Vice President College Student Union, Diploma (Violin)

Fellowships/Scholarships: IVLP (3 weeks International Visitor’s Leadership Programme invite, US State Department, 2017); Media Strategies for Social Change (3 weeks programme invite Israel Agency for International Development Cooperation – MASHAV, 2013); Sacred Groves (2 year fellow Ministry of Cultural Affairs, 2010)

Action Campaign Editor (National): A unique designation which she chose for herself with role in decision making and breaking glass ceiling. With 20 years in Journalism (half in academia half in active journalism), she is now leading innovative - collaborative solution driven Journalism. Her key role is to plan News Campaigns, innovate for new approaches, take up issues; build linkages for Action and Impact. She has always followed unbeaten track with beginning phase as reporter then founding media departments in university affiliate colleges, later taking crucial role for launching evening newspaper, founding journalist training division of a media house, and now in her most crucial role since 2009 as founder of a division called Media Action Group (MAG) (www.mediaactiongroup.in) in the newspaper group embedded into core editorial. Her focus remains voiceless people, inspirational work, collaborative approach and people engagement to lead with passion and compassion. She has also been reaching out to grassroots people through speeches and her media programmes/platforms to help each of them become Changemaker. She is recipient of Women Icon Award – 2015 and recently Sriphal Award – 2016 for Public Service Journalism and Innovation Award - NIF, 2014. On the board of Amity University (JMC School), SWARAJ grassroots organization and many more.

Consulting Editor: India America Today www.indiaamericatoday.com

TV Show (Weekly) conceptualized, named and presented by her #SOULgers for Patrika Rajasthan TV. This is with a purpose to cover work and philosophy of people who listen to their soul, walk on unbeaten path and work like a soldier.

As resource person had opportunity to share experiences on invitation of FICCI, CII, UN Women, UNFPA, UNICEF, IIM-A, RMP, ISKON, Artha, Skoll, CSO/VO consultations/ trainings, UNESCO, PLAN International, Govt of India platforms, Print Media Houses (esp Regional Language newspapers) and other discussion forum to propagate the idea of Public Service Journalism and to share about Empathy, Importance of Meaningful Work, Public Education, Collaboration and Change.

She founded PEN media foundation to build dialogue for better ways of People’s Engagement with News world. She is also Founder Secretary www.krishnalimb.com deeply involved with a cause to support Disabled (amputee animals) by installing Prosthetic (Artificial Limb – KRISHNA Limb) as service (non - profit). www.facebook.com/krishnalimb

Area of Work She has done major work for the benefit of the underprivileged, voiceless, marginalized or deprived community. Her major achievements have been in the areas of Right to Education; Democracy Drives during assembly and general elections (won National Media Award by President of India); Civic Engagement for Expression of Development ideas and Initiatives; Street Vendor Policy; Camel Trafficking, Gender Issues including female foeticide (won Gender Media awards for Teams at different editions), Sex Selection (she represented her state before Prime Minister of India’s dialogue with Women Sarpanch (8th March 2017 showcasing remarkable improvement in sex ratio), Child Marriage, Female Voices; Inclusion, Empathy and Accessibility for People with Disability, Environment Conservation; Awareness and Access to Ayurveda; Hindu Refugees (Religious Persecution) and Govt Schools among others. Govt School and Gender campaign (engaging more than 200 civil society groups) is closest to her heart with huge impact – policies, mind sets and practices. All these issues have been taken in campaign mode with critical engagement of all the stakeholders. It was always an ecosystem which operated underneath with experts, development sector, social workers, social jurists, active citizens and sometime the actual sufferers or beneficiaries also, which added desired direction and force to all what she undertook. She always took driver’s seat and designed ways, decided nomenclature, planned steps, facilitated engagements, offered slant and edited stories and fanned public movement keeping her teams in the fore front. Now writes only when it boils within and if it at all supports the cause, else invisible force is what she prefers to remain as.

In past 2 years she has built a dialogue forum called KEYNOTE Idea Fest for Patrika mentoring and curating it for different editions and suggesting/inviting people who have worked with profound sense of commitment and who inspire with their work or thoughts.

Impact Campaigns (her brain child) in past years: Neenv, Ahsaas, Laado, Tabran ro Byaav, Bitiya Bachao, Vision – 2025, Vajood, Bitiya Padhao, Vanshalika Betiyan, Aao Padhayen Sabko Badhayen, Feri Walon par Fanda, Doob Raha Jahaaz, Ayushmaan, Live Park, Gamechangers

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