Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday laid emphasis on leveraging the research-based knowledge for the country's socio-economic development.
She called upon the researchers to put greater concentration on the basic and practical researches and exploring unused resources.
"Along with research, we are putting emphasis on how the knowledge gained from the research can be used for our socio-economic development," she said.
She opined that "importance should also be given to basic research as well as applied research, and our researchers should definitely look into it."
The Prime Minister, as the chief guest, said this while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the National Science and Technology Complex (NSTC) located at the city's Agargaon. She joined the function virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.
About the unexplored resources, Sheikh Hasina said, "We have to find out what we have in our country as there are many invaluable resources that we have not yet been able to use or those are out of our reach."
She also stressed the need for paying special attention to research in unused resources so those can be used for the people of the country.
Sheikh Hasina further said research is inevitable in every field such as health, food production, engineering or infrastructure development. "In fact, excellence cannot be achieved without research," she added.
About attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, she said, "In our country study is absolutely necessary and that is why, everyone needs to pay attention to research."
Besides, more attention also needs to be paid to keep pace with the technology as the use and impact of technology has increased all over the world, she added.
The Prime Minister, however, noted that the country is lagging behind in research in the health sector.
The head of the government also pointed out that many physicians could no longer be involved in research after attending patients, but her government is taking steps to raise the scope of research in health sector.
Science and Technology Minister Architect Yeafesh Osman was in the chair. National Museum of Science and Technology (NMST) Director General Muhammad Munir Chowdhury delivered the welcome address. An audio-visual documentary on the newly- built National Science and Technology Complex was screened.
The modern complex was constructed at a cost of some Taka 222 crore to further popularise science and technology through scientific exhibitions and to encourage the young and non-professional scientists for their innovative activities.
The enormous structure, having 300,000 square feet space, 700-seat auditorium, two seminar halls, multipurpose hall, rooftop solar system and cafeteria, will promote arrangement of the national and international seminars, conference, workshops and fair on science and technology.
The Prime Minister said her government is providing all kinds of assistance including necessary financial grants for research in science and technology.
She said, "Bangabandhu Fellowship" is being offered for science and technology research at home and abroad under the Bangabandhu Science and Technology Fellowship Trust for building a science-minded nation and developing skilled and qualified scientists, technologists and researchers at national level.
In addition, National Science and Technology Fellowships are being given among the students and researchers at the MPhil, PhD and post PhD levels, she added.
Sheikh Hasina said after assuming office in 1996, "I allocated fund initially for research" as there was no allocation for conducting study and subsequently, "the special allocation is being kept for research in every year's national budget".
She said her government has established the National Institute of Biotechnology to ensure meaningful use of the biotechnology in improving the quality of life of the people alongside setting up of several world-class science research institutes including Genomic Research Laboratory.
She continued that an effective addition to medical science is the National Institute for Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Medical University and the Institute for Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences at various government medical colleges across the country.
She went on saying that the government is also building Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant which would take the country to a new height globally.
She said Bangladesh became a member of the International Telecommunication Union on September 5, 1973 and inaugurated the Satellite Earth Station at Betbunia on June 14, 1975 to connect Bangladesh with the world during Bangabandhu's tenure.
"His steps have been serving as a guideline for us," she added.
After long 21 years, when Awami League came to power in 1996, she said that she found the number of science students, even interested in science education decreased in the country.
Then she took initiatives to establish 12 science and technology universities across the country, Sheikh Hasina said.