Blend studies with research, says Kakodkar

Blend studies with research, says Kakodkar

Eminent scientist Anil Kakodkar has emphasised the need to blend studies with research, instead of depending only on reverse engineering.

He was delivering the presidential address after launching the M S Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences here on Tuesday. Kakodkar, the former director of the prestigious Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) who now heads the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council, said that after so many years of independence the country has not developed something too remarkable, as indigenous technology.
“Reverse engineering is not a bad term, but we need to create new technology. An environment for new technology has not been created, which could take us ahead of others,” said Kakodkar.

He stressed the need for re-transforming the education system that could leverage the growth of the Indian market. He blamed some ‘inherent features’ in the system, which do not allow to make India a big gainer.

“To me, our higher education needs reform. Teaching alone cannot remain the frontier of knowledge, but research can. The problem is if the emphasis is on study, research takes a beating, whereas if research gets preference, study is affected. We need a perfect blending of study as well as research,” said Kakodkar.

He called upon the private sector to play a pivotal role in setting up research institutes, instead of looking for gains from them.

“Research requires investment, but the immediate outcome is not guaranteed. In the long run, the industry would be benefited,” said the scientist.

Citing the example of tele-cobalt machine, he said the high value of the imported machine had jacked up the cost of cancer treatment. When a team of BARC scientists came out with an alternative machine, costing less than half of the existing machines in the market, not only did the cost of treatment come down, but the competitors were also compelled to slash the prices of their machines by half. He said due to the research by Indian pharmaceutical companies, the cost of life-saving drugs has come down remarkably.

Speaking on the occasion, Chancellor of the University Dr M R Jayaram said the institute believes in an education model that is based on knowledge and devotion, creating a process of perfection for the larger social good.

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