Modi calls CNR to discuss science

Modi calls CNR to discuss science

Modi calls CNR to discuss science

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up National Research Professor and former chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (SAC-PM) C N R Rao and discussed science policies for over 40 minutes.

Rao told Deccan Herald: “Prime Minister Modi called me recently and we discussed science issues for over 40 minutes.” 

Very specific questions from Modi and specific suggestions by Rao characterised the telephonic interaction.

“Mr Modi discussed a range of education and science issues and sought to know what could be done to revitalise science from school to higher research levels. He specifically asked me what the government should be doing in the next few years to handle science and education sectors and after I suggested several measures, Mr Modi asked me to prepare a note. I have prepared the note and forwarded it to the prime minister.”

In the note, Rao has suggested measures to improve quality of science teaching from school to post-graduate levels, setting up of new institutions and improving the delivery of existing institutions. “Beyond this, I cannot state everything that I have mentioned.”

Rao’s SAC-PM which worked under the Manmohan Singh government has now been wound-up. “I am not the chairman of SAC-PM anymore. I have to go when a new regime comes in. When I go, others have to go too! The SAC-PM that I headed was established by the Manmohan Singh government and the understanding is that the council dissolves if the government at the Centre changes. As of now, we don’t have a council under the new dispensation.”

The scientist said he was “not aware whether the Modi government would set up the council again or set up a body similar to it. I don’t know what form any new body may take. The prime minister does have ideas and it’s upto him to decide whether he needs a council or not. But I told him that the council has been a very fruitful contribution to decisions on science under the previous government. Communicating with the prime minister has been useful because it helps in better understanding of science by the prime minister and aids quick decision-making.”