Support for science is not as good as it should be: CNR Rao
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Last Updated: Sunday, November 17, 2013, 18:28
  
Bangalore: Future of India is tied up with how it invests in education and science, Bharat Ratna awardee and eminent scientist C N R Rao on Sunday said, and voiced concern that the support for the sectors was not as it should be.

"....The future of India stands with science, let me tell you only countries which have really made progress in the world are those which are scientifically advanced and those which are not scientifically advanced are not known....," Rao told reporters here, a day after the government announced its decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on him.

"We should invest more in education, more in science so that the future of India is secure. It is not good only if country's sensex and business is doing good - it is only for five years or ten years. What about long term, and for that to happen- its only with advancement in science."

Rao, who is also the Chairman of Prime Minister's Scientific Advisory Council, said "Science is the way to go forward, I'm so glad that our first Prime Minister Nehuru believed in it, and unfortunately support for science is not as good as it should be."

"There is bit of support, but it is not as good as it should be. It can improve much more," he said. Stating that we have not done well in investment into basic education, basic science, he said "for basic education- for ordinary education we should invest at least 6 per cent of the GDP. Government has to do this because other people are not doing much in it- private people are doing little bit. We are only investing 2 per cent."

"Future of India is tied up with how to invest in education and science. We have to increase our investment in science from 1 per cent to 2 per cent. I hope these things will happen," he said.

Rao said "....For the money that government has given to scientific sector, we have done much more." "....Why the hell these idiots these politicians have given so little for us. Inspite of that we scientists have done something."

"Our investments are marginal, comes late.... For that money we have got, we have performed. For the money we have been getting it is not bad at all, after all this kind of money is nothing."

Noting that the investment had never been very good and the best investment is marginal, Rao said the two agencies like space and atomic had got good money. "For education- best of them have not got enough," he added.

Rao also said, "We also have to take blame on ourselves, Indians we don't work hard, we are not like Chinese. We are easy going and we are not as much nationalists...If we get some-more money we are ready to go abroad."

To a question on whether technology has over taken science, Rao said, "today's technology is not like as in old days, today's technology develops very fast based on modern science. The time frame between today's science and tomorrow's technology is very short."

"I think India has to learn to use latest results of science in technology and innovation. India's ranking in innovation is very bad- we are 66th rank in innovation out of 140 countries. From 66th rank we have to come among top 10."

"Innovation, technology investment in India has not been very successful and that is one reason why India is not able to compete with China and South Korea- they have done much higher investment in innovation and education."

Pointing out that we have to do more investment in to these fields Rao said "though our Prime Minister has promised it, it has not actually happened."

Rao also said that "unfortunately in the quantity of producing scientific papers or publication India's position is flat parallel to x-axis."

"China is going to be number one starting next year, till now America was number one producing 16.5 per cent of the world research- China was about 12 per cent which is going to be 16.5 to 17 per cent. India in that is about 2.5 to 3 per cent."

Stating that he is not worried about quantity of these publications but is about the quality- he said "top one per cent of world research paper if you take- 60 per cent of it is still from America, China was only 1 per cent just like India, but it has now become 7 per cent. India is still around 1 to 3 per cent."

PTI

First Published: Sunday, November 17, 2013, 18:28


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