Puducherry, Dec 21 (UNI) President Prathibha Devisingh Patil today called upon the governments and institutions to make earnest efforts to chalkout schemes to attract more students to take up basic science and research activities.
Inaugurating the 34th Jawharlal Nehru National Science Exhibition for children-2007 here, Ms Patil regretted that the number of students opting for science after the secondary school level was dropping.
According to a recent study only 19.7 per cent students opt for science compared to the 32 per cent in early 1950s, she said adding that in 1950s the brightest entered science but today's 19.7 per cent was from the lower middle level.
This showed that young students, particularly the brighter ones, were drifting away from science, she said and pointed out that of the 750 national talent search awardees' hardly 100 opt for science and only 15 to 20 per cent pursue science to the post-graduation level.
She said peer pressure, changing socio-economic situation and market mechanism have further added to the process of drifting away from basic science to professional courses with lure of high salaries from commerce, management, IT and biotechnology.
Ms Patil stressed the need for better equipped laboratories in schools, colleges and universities and enhanced scholarships and investment in research activites.