Call for investment in R & D

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Bangalore, Oct 4 (UNI) Former Principal Advisor to Defence Minister V K Aatre today lamented that investment in Research and Development (R&D) in the country was small and believed it should be stepped up considerably to improve technological progress.

Speaking at the inauguration of a three-day international conference on 'Polymeric Materials in Power Engineering' organised by the Central Power Research Institute here, he said the present investment in R&D was to the extent of 0.8 per cent to 0.9 per cent, which is not even equal to one per cent of the country's GDP.

Stating that the investment was very meagre, Dr Aatre said, ''we cannot build technology unless suitable workshops and laboratories were available. Wealth of a country depends on technology. It is worthwhile to look at progress made in science and technology and take remedial steps to improve upon. The present R&D scenario in the country is very critical. The number of PhDs is going down in the country.'' Alleging that the Information Technology service sector, which made a mark in the international arena was sucking youngsters, he said, ''unless youngsters come forward country's technology development cannot improve''.

Citing an example, he said a search was made recently for good technologies to develop suitable gas turbine engine for Cauvery, but hardly 45 to 50 technologists could be identified for taking up the task.

''India cannot survive on service sector alone. Skill change in manpower is the need of the hour. Investment has to be distributed equally. Academies should be allowed to identify the areas needed development and function freely.'' More than 300 delegates, including 35 from abroad, representing academia, R&D Institutions, scientists, engineers and technologists are participating in the conference, in which more than 35 papers on Polymer technology in relation to Power Engineering would be presented.

UNI

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