Mumbai: In a first, scientists at the 102nd Indian Science Congress Sunday discussed Science and Technology of SAARC countries.
The plenary session included A M Mubarak of Sri Lanka, V M Katoch of India and Sameer M Dixit of Nepal. A M Mubarak, Vice President of the National Academy of Science spoke about technology, capacity building, promotion and management of innovation.
He presented Sri Lanka's profile which included population, per capita income, life expectancy and human development index which has potential for improvement.
In the global competitive index, Sri Lanka is at 73 out of the 144 countries, which is very low as compared to other South Asian countries, he said.
He expressed concern on this issue saying, "To understand the reason behind this, we have to look at the components which the world looks at."
"The major challenge is the inability to retain the quality of the scientists. The evolution of technology is low, there is only improvement of the existing technology," he said.
Katoch said, "The tragedy of SAARC countries is that they have the same problems but do not work together".
"There is an urgent need for international collaborations between countries for effective campaigns to eradicate malnutrition and mother-child problems," he said.
Dixit, Country Director and Public Health Biomedical Scientists, Centre for Molecular Dynamics, Nepal presented the Nepal perspective, highlighting its profile and human resource data.
The National Planning Commission does not have enough funding and Nepal also faces the problem of brain drain, he said.
Biomedical research faces challenges because there is no scope for innovation and focuses mainly on academic research, he said.