Union Minister Jitendra Singh inaugurates i-Connect programme at CSIR-NEIST

JORHAT: Minister of State (Independent charge) for the Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh on Thursday inaugurated the first i-Connect programme at the CSIR- North East Institute of Science and Technology in Jorhat on today.

i-Connect will be a series of 75 industry connect events to showcase the achievements in various science and technology events and will include a variety of programmes such as mega industry conferences, plenary talks, technical exhibitions, B2B meetings, round table discussions, etc.

Singh also inaugurated the Science and Technology Intervention for Projects of the North East Region (STINER) Centre, the foundation stone of which he had laid as Union Minister of State for Department of North East Region (DoNER) on October 29, 2018.

The STINER will be the central hub for all technologies produced by CSIR-NEIST to be spread to all the eight north-eastern States. The i-Connect programme envisages the connecting of industry with research and academia for sustainable growth of the economy and livelihood generation. i-Connect is a programme of the Ministry of Science and Technology on the occasion of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

Singh said that he had selected the Northeast as the place to launch the first out of 75 i-Connects to be held all over the country as it was the vision of Prime Minister Modi in 2014 to bring back places like the north-eastern region, Jammu and Kashmir back into the mainstream. He further said that the Northeast was also chosen for its launch as it was most likely that the future start-up destination would be this region.

Singh stressed innovation as the key to sustainability of the start-ups, which he said would show the road map for the next 25 years. “Economy will be technology driven and it should have an ecosystem and that is where the industry comes in,” he added.

“Industry and research should share a reciprocal relationship. If research is to be taken from lab to land, industry is necessary otherwise the research will die along with the superannuation of the researcher,” Singh said.

State Health and Family Welfare Minister Keshab Mahanta who also addressed the occasion, thanked the minister for selecting Assam as the place to launch i-Connect. He also requested Singh to aid in other science and technology projects of the State.

CSIR NEIST director Dr G N Sastry said that i-connect had been planned on a hub and spokes system where NEIST would be one of the two hubs in the state and the eight states as spokes.

Dr Sastry gave a synopsis of the aromatic plants and Floriculture Mission of the institute. Among those present were Rajya Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa and Niti Aayog member VK Shaswat.

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