Chennai: Declaring 2012 as the `National
Mathematical year` as a tribute to maths wizard Srinivasa
Ramanujan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday voiced concern
over the "badly inadequate" number of competent mathematicians
in the country.
He also said that the perception that pursuit of
mathematics does not lead to attractive career possibilities
"It is a matter of concern that for a country of our
size, the number of competent mathematicians that we have is
badly inadequate," he said at a function to here mark the
125th birth anniversary of Ramanujan.
Singh also declared December 22, the birthday of
Ramanujan, as `National Mathematics Day`.
Students have not pursued mathematics at advanced levels
over more than three decades, which has resulted in a decline
in quality of mathematics teachers at schools and colleges,
Singh who is on a two-day visit to the state, told a galaxy of
academics at Madras University.
"There is a general perception in our society that the
pursuit of mathematics does not lead to attractive career
possibilities. This perception must change. This perception
may have been valid some years ago, but today there are many
new career opportunities available to mathematics and the
teaching perception itself has become much more attractive in
recent years," Singh said.
The Prime Minister said the mathematical community has a
duty to find out "ways and means" to address the shortage of
top quality mathematicians and reach out to the public,
especially in the modern context, where mathematics has
tremendous influence on every kind of human endeavour.