Scientists, technologists must decide on agenda: Expert

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Bangalore, July 2 (UNI) Scientists and engineers should set their own agenda for the country and not depend on those formulated by the government agencies, noted scientist Arcot Ramachandran said today.

Speaking at the inauguration of IISc Centenary International Conference on Advances in Mechanical Engineering here, he said energy being a major issue, Indian engineers must focus on developing next generation power technologies which could aid poor and fight environmental hazards.

''Experts should be independent and focus attention on country's needs. Water and power will be the most important issues for the new generation engineers to look into,'' he said.

''Efficient use of energy and cheap alternatives for power generation, which are environment friendly, should be their watch word,'' he said.

The IIT-Madras Founder said coal would continue to be important for power generation but there should be a major change in its use to bring down emission. It was time to increase penetration of renewable energy alternatives in energy spectrum.

''Coal will remain important till 2050. Engineers involved in R &D for clean coal technology will face material challenges,'' he said.

When nuclear energy was being 'emphasised' in Europe and Asia, the country was neglecting it.

As technologies advance, emphasis was shifting from high hyrdocarbon content fuel to high hydrogen content fuel to even pure hydrogen.

''However, for the next few decades, fossil fuel will stay with high emphasis on LNG,'' he felt.

Former IISc Director Ramachandran said the country had to foster scientists in advanced geophysical techniques for precise location of fossil fuel.

''Unfortunately we are witnessing engineers in geophysics, mining, mechanical, chemical streams leave for other fields. The country needs a very strong force in these disciplines,'' he said.

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