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Pursue research instead of jobs, Prez tells IISc grads

DH News Service, Bengaluru, Jul 6 2017, 0:59 IST

Mukherjee calls for better facilities to retain students

President Pranab Mukherjee, Governor Vajubhai Vala and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with medallists at the IISc convocation in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Governor Vajubhai Vala and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with medallists at the IISc convocation in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday called upon young scientists to engage in research after graduation instead of concentrating on jobs.

Delivering his last convocation address as the 14th President at the Indian Institute of Science convocation-2017 at J N Tata Auditorium, he said: “Profiles of graduates in their later career indicated that a majority of them ignored research. Indian bright minds should genuinely engage in fundamental research.”

Mukherjee stressed on the importance of basic amenities and said: “Better infrastructure and conducive atmosphere are needed to retain bright minds in India for research. No Indian scientist working in India has bagged a Nobel Prize in science in the last 80 years. Har Gobind Khorana and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar bagged Nobel Prizes while they were working abroad.”

Citing the example of Germany’s growth due to research in science despite suffering a catastrophe in two World Wars, Mukherjee said: “Unless we make investments in basic research, we can’t see the type of India which we would like to see.”

The President said India was losing the monopoly in the IT job market. “Indian professionals are facing threats of losing jobs not just from one country, but from many countries. We need excellent teachers who could enhance employability of youngsters so that India’s monopoly continues,” he said.

“India has over 760 universities and 38,600 degree colleges. Mere numbers are not enough, but imparting quality education is a must,” he said.

Siddaramaiah said young scientists should address challenges of climate change, poverty and diseases.

Governor Vajubhai Vala said Indian scientists should be inspired by their counterparts in Israel, Russia, Japan, USA and Korea and governments should spend more on research.

As many as 625 candidates in ME, MTech, MMgt, PhD, MS, MSc, Engg and UG programmes received certificates, while the number of medal winners was 52.

‘Institute made India proud’
There was an applause when Mukherjee said: “This is my last visit to the central institute as the 14th President. I am concluding with the institute which has made India proud.”

He recalled his conversation with a director of an IIT, who told Mukherjee that most of the students were well placed all over the world.

“I asked him if they were carrying out research. The answer was highly disappointing. I want youngsters to carry out research,” he said.

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