'Biggest brain drain is internal'

'Biggest brain drain is internal'

Two-day international conference on material science at NITK begins

'Biggest brain drain is internal'

Chairman of Prime Minster’s Scientific Advisory Board Prof C N R Rao speaking at the international conference on Recent Trends in Materials and Characterisation at NITK on Sunday. Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the international conference on Recent Trends in Materials and Characterisation (RETMAC 2010) at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka here on Sunday, he said that the aura around IT sector is temporary. In fact, he blamed IT for the disaster in Engineering Sector in India.

“IT destroyed India. Other disciplines do not get the importance they deserve. The biggest brain drain is internal and that is what ails this country. Our best people are selling soaps. We have so many MBAs here. Then why are we such a mismanaged country?” Prof Rao lamented. He stated that India can never be number one in military strength or economic growth. What would take this country forward is a strong knowledge base and to create it is my dream, he said and stressed the need to increase India’s quality contribution to Engineering and Science. Small countries like South Korea, Singapore and Finland are very advanced in their education system while we are lagging much behind. More than 6 per cent of the GDP should be invested in nourishing the education system, he demanded.

We should give more opportunities of research to our people and that is where the National Science and Engineering Board comes in. The Board is a mega funding organisation in India for all kinds of research and development. He also appreciated the world class infrastructure at the one year old International Centre for Material Sciences.
  People from remote places, teachers, students, and research scholars can make use of the facilities.

They can avail fellowships and carry out their research at the centre without worrying about the financial aspect, Prof Rao informed.

Earlier delivering his inaugural address, Prof Rao stressed the need for more research in the field of material sciences. “It is one field where all the disciplines of science can be brought together.”

“There is no point in doing research on something nobody cares. Science is extremely competitive and for India to keep up in this world, there need to quality contribution,” he said.

We have enough funds for science, but no takers. In fact, the government is keeping aside around 2 per cent of the GDP for the development of science. The purpose of educational institutions is to create people who can absorb these funds and utilise it creatively, he said.

We have 300 universities in this country, but not even one is among the top 200 in the world. Our aim should be to bring at least a select few of them to meet world standards, bring them to a high level of performance and quality, Prof Rao added and hoped that NITK will make quality contributions towards development of material science.

NITK Director Prof Sandeep Sancheti in his presidential address informed that NITK houses a Centre for Materials for the past 2 years with all basic facilities incorporated. Besides, a funding of Rs 4 to Rs 5 crores is expected for the Students’ Online Virtual Laboratory (SOVL), he said.

Chief Coordinator of the conference Prof G Umesh, Convenors Prof Jagannath Nayak and Prof Kasturi Bangera were present on the occasion.

As many as 137 research papers will be presented at the the two-day conference which will conclude on Monday.

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