Lack of research culture hurting India: Kalam

Lack of research culture hurting India: Kalam

It is but imperative for a nation, which is aiming to be a global super power, to invest in research and development.

Former President A P J Abdul Kalam presents Infosys Science Foundation Prize-2011 to (clockwise from top left) Prof Kalyanmoy Deb, Dr Imran Siddiqi, Prof Kannan Soundararajan, Prof Sriram Ramaswamy and Dr Pratap Bhanu Mehta in Bangalore on Monday. DH PhotoHowever, India is still lurking behind developed nations due to its lack of research culture, former President A P J Abdul Kalam said.

Speaking at the Infosys Science Foundation Prize 2011, Kalam said the nation needs to invest at least two per cent of its GDP in R&D, as opposed to the 0.6 per cent currently allocated to it. “If we look at the Global Innovation Index, India is ranked 62. While at the Global Competitive Index, it is placed at 56. In order for the nation to move up the ladder in the competitive index and be in the top 10, India needs to be in the top 5 of the innovative index,” he said.

He appealed to the scientific and academic community to look at research in water, sustainable agriculture, energy and health for the nation to grow. For the third successive year, Infosys Science Foundation gave away awards of excellence in science. Six awards in the field of engineering and computer science, life sciences, mathematical sciences, physical sciences and social sciences were given away.

While two were Indians working in the USA, four others were from different prestigious institutes of the nation. One among them was Prof Sriram Ramaswamy from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

The other winners were: Prof Kalyanmoy Deb, director of the Kanpur Genetic Algorithms Laboratory, Kanpur; Dr Imran Siddiqi, Scientist and Group Leader, CSIR, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad; Prof Kannan Soundarajan, Professor of Mathematics and the Director of the Mathematics Research Centre, Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA; Prof Raghuram G Rajan, the Charles M Harper, Faculty Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Chicago, USA; and Prof Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President and Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.

It has now been announced that the Infosys Science Foundation will constitute another award for the field of Humanities from the year 2012.

Scholars who have made a visible impact in Philosophy, Archaeology, History, Linguistics and Literary Studies will be considered for the honour.

The foundation welcomed the eminent jury chairs, who had agreed to extend their three-year term for another two years.

The jurists include Nobel Laureate Prof Amartya Sen, Prof Pradeep Khosla, Prof Srinivas Kulkarni, Prof S R Vardhan and Prof Inder
Verma.

The winners

* Prof Kalyanmoy Deb, Engineering and Computer Science
* Dr Imran Siddiqi, Life Sciences
* Prof Kannan Soundararajan, Mathematical Sciences
* Prof Sriram Ramaswamy, Physical Sciences
* Prof Raghuram G Rajan, Social Sciences - Economics
* Dr Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Social Sciences - Political Science and International
Relations

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