Technology vital to counter terror: PM


New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday said the role of technology in supporting India’s counter terrorism and internal security efforts was not being given adequate emphasis and there was need for greater investment in security technologies.

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“Other countries have used modern science and technology in their security structures with great effect. It acts not only as a force multiplier but can also provide solutions to human problems relating to command, coordination and communication,” the prime minister said while giving away the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awards, the country’s highest science awards, for 2007 and 2008 to young scientists.

“Some of the areas where greater work is required are surveillance systems, cryptography, near real time search and identification from distributed large data bases and computer simulation exercises to enhance our crisis tactics and responses,” he said.

This is the second time that Manmohan Singh has referred to the role of technology in countering terror after the Mumbai strikes last month in which over 170 people were killed.

“We should use scientific interventions to neutralize weapons of terror and mass destruction. I believe that investment in security technologies is vital if our security systems are to keep pace with the increasing sophistication of international terrorism and crime.”

The prime minister also said that public-private partnerships (PPP) should be used to commercialize technologies emerging from research and development programmes.

“How can science, industry and government work as one efficient and integrated machine to deliver to the people the benefits of these scientific and technological advances? This is an area where countries such as China and Japan have scored over us.”

“Unless we apply ourselves to this task, the powerful scientific tools of social and economic change will remain confined to our laboratories and to our institutions. Our scientists, I suggest, should work to connect science to the daily lives of millions of our people,” he said.

Stressing on the importance of PPP, he added: “Public-private partnerships should be used to commercialize the technologies emerging from R&D programmes being funded by various science departments. We should focus more on linking the lab with the market”.

Appreciating the work of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the prime minister said: “CSIR should work to commercially exploit its vast knowledge base, currently embodied in more than 3,000 or so patents held nationally and globally”.