India should draw inspiration from North Korea, says Karnataka Governor

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Bengaluru, July 6: Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala on Wednesday said India should take inspiration from the scientific successes of small nations, including North Korea.

He was speaking at the convocation ceremony of IISc during which 625 students were given degrees and 52 awarded medals for their academic performance. President Pranab Mukherjee presided over the event.

Vala, who is no stranger to controversy stirred up fresh row as the autocratic country runs a rogue atomic programme and the regime is the worst human rights violator.

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala

His statement has come at a time when North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, sparking off a worldwide outcry. Though his speech hinted at taking inspiration from scientific research across the globe, it was overshadowed by his North Korea remarks.

"We should take inspiration from Indian Space Research Organisation, from Israel, from Japan and any other nation, including North Korea which is progressing in Atomic Energy," he said.

In 2015, Vala was criticised for addressing a joint sitting of the legislature in Hindi, the first governor to so in a state where the primary language is Kannada.

Vala, also hailed scientist CNR Rao, who heads the scientific advisory council to the Prime Minister, for his contributions to chemistry and his humility.

Focus on developing research

Pranab Mukherjee sought to put the focus on developing research within the country. "For too long, academia and industry have neglected research. Unless we make investment in basic research, we cannot make further progress," he said.

Similarly, he warned that the advantages that India possessed during the early days of the Information Technology growth was diminishing, while challenges of global competition were increasing. "We require excellent teachers, bright students, conducive atmosphere, good laboratories that keep pace with rapidly-changing technology," said Mukherjee.

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