New Delhi,04/12/2015::he Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said that the Prime Minister’s visionary programmes like ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Smart Cities’ need strong inputs from the country’s scientific community and productive collaborations between academia and industry to transform them into huge success stories. Inaugurating the country’s biggest ever Science & Technology and Industrial Expo at IIT Delhi, he said, there is also an imperative need to turn science into a people’s movement to address the problems and challenges the country is facing even after around 70 years of independence. “Science needs to be broad-based and fashioned into a people’s movement. The spirit of scientific temper has to percolate to the grassroots level, especially among the schoolchildren,” the Minister stressed. The exhibition is part of the five-day India International Science Festival (IISF) 2015 — a joint event of the Ministry of Science and Technology (DST, DBT and DSIR/CSIR) and the Ministry of Earth Sciences — which opens tomorrow. It is being organised in collaboration with Vijnana Bharati, the largest science movement in the country, with the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) as the nodal agency. “The need of the hour is to leverage science and think out of the box. We have the brain, resources, intelligence and technology. We need to aggressively channelize those resources and give a huge fillip to the government’s developmental efforts,” he added.Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who will inaugurate the inaugural edition of the IISF tomorrow, said problems of malnutrition, scarcity of electricity, lack of cleanliness and employment generation can be effectively tackled ‘’if science, industry and academy work in close collaboration”. The objective of the Expo is to emphasise the interdependence of science-technology-innovation and society, facilitate industrial and academic collaborations, motivate students and bring together scientists, artists and innovators on a common platform, said the minister, who was accompanied by senior officials from the ministry and participating research institutions.More than 240 stalls have been set up inside a spacious venue spanning over 100,000 sq ft with top national and state-level organizations participating. These include DRDO, CSIR, Ministry of AYUSH, RGCB, HAL, Spices Board of India, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), NTPC, NHPC, IIT Indore, ICMR, Ministry of Earth Sciences, and Survey of India which are showcasing cutting edge research, new technologies and innovations.Among the interesting and innovative products and technologies at display are a first of its kind in the world confocal microscope (CSIR), R&D work on medicinal and aromatic plants in Jammu and Kashmir (CSIR), indigenous dental implant, conversion of waste plastic to automotive fuels and petrochemicals and an energy-efficient and less polluting brass melting furnace. IISF 2015 aims to provide the much-needed platform for research and industrial sectors to demonstrate their work and achievements and enable companies and organisations offering associated products and services to interact directly with the public.The Expo is open to the public from 10.30 am to 7 pm until December 8.