Red tape stifles science: PM

Singh asks scientists to propose steps for autonomy to help improve standards

Red tape stifles science: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addresses the Indian  Science Congress in Thiruvan-anthapuram on Sunday. PTI

This candid admission has come from none other than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who inaugurated the 97th session of the Indian Science Congress here on Sunday.

“It is unfortunately true that red tapes, political interference and lack of proper recognition of good work have all contributed to a regression in Indian science in some sectors from the days of CV Raman, Meghnad Saha, J C Bose, Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan and other great pioneers of Indian science,” he said.

Singh laid stress on having greater “autonomy from red tape and local politics” for Indian scientists.

But the ills are known even to Singh who, as prime minister and Union finance minister, is conversant with the issues dogging Indian science and technology.

The killing effects of red tapes were first highlighted by  former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee at the Pune Science Congress in 2000.

Since then the issue has been repeatedly highlighted by Vajpayee and Singh. But little happened on the ground.

The few baby steps taken by the government are too inadequate to inspire confidence among researchers, many of whom feel that the working environment in the laboratories of the US and Europe are far more conducive for intellectually challenging work.

Singh asked scientific institutions “to introspect and propose mechanisms for greater autonomy, including autonomy from the government.”
This, he said, might help in improving the standards.

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