German type student-scientist interaction for supremacy mooted

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Panaji, Jan 1 (UNI) India will follow the suit of Germany in organising intense interaction of young enthusiasts with top scientists from next year to boost ''spirit of creativity and inject scienific bug'' to achieve supremacy in science.

Disclosing this to UNI here today, Prof C N R Rao, National Research Professor and Chairman of the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister said he had already advised the PM on the need for organising Germany's Lindou type annual interactions with top scientists and noble laureats for promoting scientific talent among the youth.

He also said IT sector had destroyed Indian talent though it was contributing to wealth at the cost of developing scientific talent and performance which remained ''stagnant and on decline'' as of now compared to other countries including China.

Bali, he said, had decided to initiate similar exposure for Asian youth in August this year and India from next year. This interaction with the cream of scientists will enthuse youth into science which is the need of the hour. India had been sending a mere 30 students every year to Lindou for participation.

This is more needed at a time when scientific manpower was is in great demand now. Indian scientific talent was migrating to Singapore and Thailand because of increased opportunities in terms of reuneration and encouragement.

Delivering the 42nd National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) Foundation Day Lecture earlier here this evening on ''Today's scientific scenario and tomorrow's challenges,'' Prof Rao regretted that even Parliament had failed to spend at least one day on science and other creative subjects since inception.

General Electric needs 1000 Ph Ds for its unit in Bangalore and Honeywell 300 while Mukhesh Ambani's labs 500. How do we meet this demand when there is terrific shortage of scientific talent, he asked.

''Need for achieving scientific supremacy is driving countries like China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Thailand to engage scientific talent and we should also follow suit,'' he said.

''To tide over this situation, India requires a large scale research base to encourage creative talent particularly among the youth which is the driving force of our country with 51 per cent of population being youth these days,'' he said.

''At the sametime, we need to build competitive spirit in India in scientfic stream. India had a tremendous scientific talent when there were no grants and research facilities were primitive as was in the days of top scientists like J C Bose, C V Raman and Ramanujam. On the contrary, we are now experiencing shortage when we have everything including funds, laboratories and equipments,'' he observed.

''I used to carry a load of primary chemicals from abroad for doing experiments in our IITs with very low wages and yet we worked wonders relentlessly with the scientific spirit and zeal which is wanted these days,'' Prof Rao said.

He also deplored that India's contribution to world science was as low as 2.7 per cent and it was likely to go down to one per cent in due course.

Even the papers contributed by India were lesser as against 140 by China and 100 by Japan. Europe was above US and Asia was almost on par with US with China and Japan contributing more.

Questioning IIT's starting management courses, Prof Rao favoured encouraging inter-disciplinary research in universities to boost scientific talent.

The very education scenario needs a thorough debate as it was mostly money oriented to suit the manpower requirements of BPO's and ITES as against the best scenific talent pool, Prof Rao added.


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