Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Representative image. IANS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 102nd Indian Science Congress at the Mumbai University on Saturday.

Science and Technology for Human Development is this year's theme of the Congress. Deliberations and presentation of papers by the scientific fraternity from across the globe will be the order of the day for the five-day event.

The session is expected to take place in the presence of more than 12 thousand delegates, reports The Times of India.

While addressing the inaugural speech of the event Modi said, "Science may be the product of human brain, but it is also driven by the compassion of human heart - the desire to make human life better."

"Our scientists have placed us at the forefront of the world in many areas," he said.

However, Modi was quick to caution that "it (science) can increase inequality, make wars more lethal and damage our environment".

As the country's investments in science and technology are far too concentrated in the central government agencies, the prime minister called out to make scientific investments more broad-based.

He congratulated the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for placing the Mangalyaan in the Mars orbit on its first attempt, and said: "Whenever the world shut its door on us, our scientists responded with the zeal of a national mission.

"And when the world sought our collaboration, our scientists reached out with the openness that is inherent in our society."

Linking science with human development, he said the two cannot be divorced from "political decisions, social choices, the question of equity, ethics, and access. Human development has been the larger purpose and the driving force of Indian scientific pursuits".

Modi said the poorest should also have access to science and technology.

"To me, the arms of science, technology and innovation must reach the poorest, the remotest and the most vulnerable person," he said.

(With inputs from IANS)