Kolkata: After her repeated efforts to extract a special financial package from the Centre went in vain, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today renewed the demand at the Indian Science Congress centenary meet in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"Please look at Bengal. If Bengal is developed, then India is developed," Banerjee said at the congress which was also attended by President Pranab Mukherjee, Science and Technology minister S Jaipal Reddy, and a host of Nobel laureates and scientists.
"Bengal has produced so many Nobel laureates like Rabindranath Tagore, C V Raman, Amartya Sen and Mother Teresa. Bengal is also the gateway to the south-east Asian nations and the cultural capital of India," she said.
"People like Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray, Jagdish Chandra Bose, Meghnad Saha and S N Bose all belonged to this soil of Bengal," she said.
Banerjee said that the science was an useful tool to solve the grassroots problem of food security, health and education.
"Science can solve the problem of people living below the poverty line and the downtrodden. If you scientists cannot solve their problems, then who will?" Banerjee asked.
She also called for more funds for the scientific community so that they were free from any tension on running a family.
"People doing research should not worry about how to run a family. They should not be under any tension," the chief minister said.
She said that the state government had decided to set up a Tagore Centre for Science, Culture and Philosophy.