India must spend 2 pc of GDP on science: Ansari

India must spend  2 pc of GDP on science: Ansari

Vice President M Hamid Ansari has called for an increase in investment in the science sector from the present one per cent of the GDP to two per cent to ensure rapid progress in science and to be able to compete with China and South Korea.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the silver jubilee celebration of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) on Monday, Ansari said the Research and Development (R&D) sector in the country should be given more funding. “The government is the primary investor in R&D now. I urge industries to come forward and enhance its participation in R&D. Industry funding has been slack and inadequate,” Ansari observed, stating that countries such as China and South Korea were doing much better on this front. Ansari noted that India produced 1,000 PhDs a year, while the US produced 8,000 PhDs. The number of scientists for every 1,000 people too was higher in the US and China compared to India. “I am, however, glad that the science output has gone up from 2.5 per cent in 2003 to 3.6 per cent in 2012. I am also happy to note that India’s position has improved in publications from 15th to 10th position. Even citations have gone up, even if marginally, from 0.5 per cent to 0.75 per cent. We have to keep bettering ourselves,” he said.

Prof C N R Rao recalled how JNCASR was established 25 years ago. “I received a call from Mani Shankar Aiyar that a committee had agreed to set up the centre in Bengaluru and that it had Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s support. By 1994, we started off research in full swing. ” Rao said. “JNCASR is doing well and has earned a global reputation in the first 25 years. In the next 25 years, I don’t know what will happen.”
‘Women have potential’

Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala spoke in an informal tone, encouraging scientists at the JNCASR to work towards greater success. “Women have as much intelligence as men have. The other day, I presented awards to more than 150 women professionals. They are not only intelligent but also sincere. They have the potential to become scientists.”

Chief minister Siddaramaiah promised full support to JNCASR and other science institutions in the State. Professors K Vijayraghavan, P Rama Rao and K S Narayan also spoke at the event.

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