India has taken a giant leap in economic progress but at the same time the need for inclusive development covering the larger segment of our weaker populace has become far more critical. There are also serious issues with regard to sustainability of natural endowments. The threat of climatic changes require that we bridge our development deficit in a manner that does not take us irreversibly close to the tipping point. The Human Development Index (HDI) which is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education and income indices shows that India ranks 134th place globally, bringing out that lot needs to be done to emancipate the situation that will strengthen the base of the mighty pyramid of India.
The challenges that we face need actions at several levels. We need to explore and reinvent innovative approaches for actions from different stake holders that include not just Government agencies but also NGOs, Corporates and Scientists and constructively supplement these efforts. Clearly Science & Technology can play a crucial catalytic role. Over 300,000 NGOs both small and large are closely working in all earnestness as change agents with Government Welfare agencies and Corporates through their CSR activities. While there are many exemplary success stories, the ground reality is that the overall picture remains dismal and large number of people still remain unaffected by the fruits of opportunity, information and development.
Many Organizations have developed new technologies in the field of Medicine, Energy, Agriculture, Environment, Information Technology etc. and leading Research Institutions like ISRO, BARC / DAE, DRDO, CSIR Laboratories and many more have been developing them with social relevance. However, all the stake holders i.e. Corporates, Research agencies, NGOs and socially cognizant citizens need to partner on a common platform to address various problems affecting the lives of millions. The NGOs can benefit from access to information and technology and the contributing companies can meet their CSR objectives through NGOs as change agents.