Indian industries have done little for science: C N R Rao

With good investments, hard work, India will be on top, says scientist 

Eminent scientist and Bharat Ratna awardee C N R Rao, on Sunday, said, with hard work of scientists and high investment by government and industries, India will be on top in science and technology in the next 20 years.

He was delivering Sir M Visvesvaraya endowment lecture on ‘Doing Science in India’ at the 103rd Indian Science Congress at University of Mysore. Rao said, Indian industry has done little for science and technology. “Globally, around 40-50 per cent of scientific research in institutions are supported by industry and the remaining 50 per cent is supported by governments. In India, however, it is all by the government. The ratio of budgetary allocation of the government for Science and its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) is not satisfactory. It is generally agreed that a country should improve the quality of education at all levels. USA tops the production of research papers in the world, followed by China. India is lagging behind in bringing out research works and it is much needed to assure quality research papers,” said the scientist.

Whenever there is mention of ‘Science’, ‘technology’ naturally comes. There is a need to boost up pure science and its contribution. A majority of government funds go to big sciences like space research. Unless the country gets support for development of small sciences in a big way, it will not develop. Bengaluru has turned into the IT capital and many IT people are behind money and have lost interest in literary works, he lamented.

Rao said, many children in rural India are enthusiastic about Science. “There are a lot of Einsteins and Faradays in India, but how many opportunities are offered to them. We should pick up bright girls and boys from villages. When C V Raman, Ramanujam and other scientists were working hard on new possibilities, there was no government to provide them scholarships. Scientists should not worry about money, but work with passion,” he said.

If Indians do not work hard, the country won’t develop in the field of science. The country has not attained satisfactory growth in science and technology. Rao pointed out, the hard working nature of students has come down in the past two decades. “Indian science is not recognised globally, as we are not doing well. Science and research is not what we do but, what we need to do,” he said and called upon scientists to work out the right solutions for life problems.

“Simplicity comes with greatness. Michael Faraday was such a man. When power came to him, he chose his laboratory over power. How many of our scientists will do so? How many will work so selflessly? If we do not understand the value of time, we will never be serious about our work. We have to work in a hurry. If we do that, we will be on top of the world in the next 10-15 years,” he said.

Rao said, India is the only biggest democratic country in the world facing various problems like climatic change, poverty. “We have to feed the poor, we have to produce new technologies, we have to think about climate change, where all happens simultaneously,” he said.

Scientists S S Katiyar and Ashutosh Sharma were present.

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