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Centre planning Rs 1000 cr Science Fund: C N R Rao

Written by: Staff
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Hyderabad, Nov 21 (UNI) The Union Government proposes a series of steps including constitution of a Rs 1000 crore National Science Fund to promote scientific research in the country, Prime Minister's Science Advisory Council Member C N R Rao said tonight.

The fund proposal would come before Parliament during the coming Winter Session, Dr Rao, who was here to deliver the Y Nayudamma Memorial Lecture on 'Science for our future', told reporters afterwards.

Two Indian Institutes of Science had already been started and three more, one in Punjab, another in the South and a third in Central India would start functioning from the next academic year to bring out top class scientists in every sphere of science, Dr Rao, who headed the commitee to review functioning of IITs, said.

Three new Indian Institutes of Techonology would be started during the 11th plan. Andhra Pradesh had a good chance of getting one IIT as also Kerala, where there was no major Central Institute so far.

Stating that the country now had a much better funding situation than in the past, Dr Rao said he had recommended to the Centre to step up investment in education to six per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, including two per cent for higher education. Earlier, delivering the lecture, he said the need of the hour was to attract youth in large numbers to pursue research in every sphere including basic sciences, as without excellence in scientific research, the country could not be innovative in technology.

'Investment in science is imperative for technologicial competence.' 'We have to wake up now. If India has to compete we have to produce more research publication and better research publications'.

China invested much more compared to India since the 1970's and the number of PHds in the country per year was hardly 4000 per year now, as against 10,000 in Brazil and 16,000 in China, he lamented.

Much of the investment in scientific research was done by the public sector all over the world, he said, adding it was 90 per cent in the US and UK.

He also rued that young people in the country ''prematurely'' landed in the IT sector leading to lop-sided development.

'We need to have innovation in every sphere of activity, including science, theatre and literature for young India to become a knowledge-powered society', he concluded.

UNI SM AA VD ND2052

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