PM's scientific advisor questions timing of Baru's book

PM's scientific advisor questions timing of Baru's book

Ascribing political motive to the memoirs of Sanjay Baru which claim that Manmohan Singh had little control over his ministers, his Scientific Advisor C N R Rao said the allegation was "baseless" and an attempt to "damage" the Prime Minister's reputation.

Professor Rao questioned the timing of the book launch and said it clearly shows the political motives hidden behind the move at election time.

"The allegation that Manmohan Singh was a weak Prime Minister with little control over his ministers is absolutely baseless.The book is an attempt to damage Singh's reputation for political mileage," he said speaking at a function organised here by PAHAR, an academic-cultural organisation to felicitate him for his life time achievements yesterday,
Rao also said that India needs to invest in education and health to be reckoned among the countries with maximum contribution to research activities.

"The present investment of 2 per cent of the GDP needs to be enhanced and we need to follow the models of developed countries which allocate around 6 per cent of the GDP to education," he said.

Answering a question by a student as to who was his role model, Professor Rao named Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose and said, "Bose should have been the first Indian to be awarded the Nobel Prize as in 1897, (Guglielmo) Marconi sent the first wireless communication over sea.But Bose did it two years ahead of him. There are records to prove this.

"Instead of showing excitement there was benign ignorance. His missing out on the prestigious award is an important lesson for India," he said, recalling that when Bose was 80 years old he had expressed concern over India not contributing its bit to the research world.

"Now at 80, I share Bose's regret," he said.

Speaking at the function, Professor Rao stressed the need for investing in youth and said the allocation of funds for science outreach programme for young students in remote places are not sufficient.

He said time has come when industry needs to come forward to contribute financially for promotion of education and research.

"I have not received a single penny from industry to conduct research in my entire professional career, while in developed countries like USA industries have gained out of investing heavily in the field of research" he said.

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