The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Vaishwik Bharatiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit, a global virtual summit of overseas and resident Indian researchers and Academicians on Gandhi Jayanti, 02ndOctober 2020 which concluded yesterday . About 2600 overseas Indians registered for the summit online. About 3200 panelists and about 22,500 academicians and scientists from India and overseas participated in this month-long series of webinars. The deliberations started on 3rd of October and concluded on the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Jayanti, 31stOctober 2020. About 722 hours of discussions under various verticals were organised by champion institutes from 3rd to 25th Oct and the outcomes were reviewed by the Advisory council chaired by Dr VK Sarsaswat, Member NITI Aayog and Prof K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, from 28th Oct to 31st Oct,2020. Secretaries from various S&T departments and other ministries are members of this council including CSIR, DST, DRDO,ICAR, DOS, DAE, DBT, Health, Pharma, MEA, MoES, MeitY, MoE and ICMR. The champion institutes received critical feedback from the participants.
VAIBHAV and Atmanirbhar Bharat: VAIBHAV has led the way in establishing research capability as an important avenue towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat. It has paved the way for aligning contemporary research in the country towards a shared purpose in each area. Resident and overseas Indians have given an integrated perspective of research and academic capabilities to seamlessly contribute to India’s S&T capability for global good. VAIBHAV has created an interactive and facile mechanism in the Cyberspace, and has promoted collaboration and the development of leadership. It is a grand initiative in the area of science and research not just for academic institutes but also for public funded R&D organizations and Industry that utilizes the outcome of research.
VAIBHAV :A wide spectrum of deliberations : VAIBHAV deliberations were held under a structured framework of many areas and subjects. This summit had many firsts in the history of academic and scientific conferences. The key highlights are
18 Verticals (Areas)
80 Horizontals (Subjects)
230 Panel Discussion Sessions
23 Days of Panel Deliberations
722 Hours of Formal Deliberations
Among panelists, 45% were overseas Indians and 55% were resident Indian academicians and scientists. In addition, about 200 hours of preparatory and practice deliberations were held before the formal panel meets. Overall Indian diaspora from 71 countries participated in this summit. This is one of its kind initiative in the country, where such a mammoth scale of scientific discussions was undertaken on wide range of topics. In terms of participation, coverage of areas, intensity of discussions, number of hours spent on discussions, number of countries and quality of participants, this summit has created a benchmark in itself.
The Summit intended to “create an ideal research ecosystem, merging tradition with modernity to create prosperity”. The discussions were held on computational sciences, electronics & communication, quantum technologies, photonics, aerospace technologies, health and medical sciences, pharma and biotechnology, agro-economy and food security, material & processing technologies, advanced manufacturing, earth sciences, energy, environmental sciences,management and social sciences.
VAIBHAV: New Collaborations in Emerging Areas -Certain areas of collaboration have emerged which were not stressed in the past, such as bioremediation, urban ore recycling and metal organics. Experts debated on the future electricity grids, interactive but islandable microgrids and related technologies key to electrification in India and maintaining resilience. At one time-zone in the cyberspace, a session was discussing the importance of assembly packaging various functionality over a single chip, while at the anothertime-zone technical ideas with respect to trapped ions and atomic clock were being proposed.To name just a few, wafer level packaging, 3D integration for MEMS, Heterogeneous integration of 2D materials on Silicon platform, Full Mission Mode Engine Cycle Analysis, Aero Elastic Analysis of Fan, Hot Turbine Blade Cooling Technology, Membrane separation for purification of elements, Ge purification for detector application, Highly doped Ge for THz and Mid IR frequencies are some of the areas of collaborations are identified.
VAIBHAV –RESPOSE & WAY FORWARD: While a panelist described Vaibhav to be ‘encouraging grounded scientists and academicians’, an organizing institute measured it by saying. It was a ‘historical and mammoth exercise without flashy names’. On the sidelines of the summit, resident researchers are discussing with their international collaborators to take forward indigenous technologies to maturation. A panel was of the view that “directed research support, regulatory requirement for industries to identify future technical trajectories, and incentives to promote academia-industry collaboration” are key mechanisms for enabling research collaboration and commercialization.
The summit has proposed a comprehensive roadmap leveraging the expertise and knowledge of global Indian researchers for addressing emerging challenges for universal development. The Summit documentation and recommendations will be submitted formally to the advisory council for further directions. The summit reflectedupon new avenues of research, strengthening of areas of research ecosystem, collaboration possibilities and cooperation instruments with academia/scientists in India and abroad. The goal is to create a broader ecosystem of knowledge and innovation in the country through global interactions, for India and the world.