Science administrators must lead from front

Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Nov 19, 2013.



    Sep 22, 2012
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    Detroit MI
    After he was chosen for the country’s highest civilian award of Bharat Ratna, Prof C N R Rao has issued a statement bemoaning insignificant allocation of funds for science and technology when compared with enormous resources put aside by the Union government for sectors like defence and homeland security. The former chairman of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Science has put his finger on the spot when he said that science funding in India was “sub-critical” and reminded the political establishment that the countries that have advanced scientifically have progressed while those who neglected it have become marginalised.

    The fact that India has been ranked 60th among 160 countries in global ranking of science performance goes to show the correctness of Rao’s assessment. Even science and technology minister Jaipal Reddy had endorsed Rao’s view that sufficient funds are not being earmarked for scientific research in India. But, it is politically incorrect to blame only the government and politicians for this state of affairs. It is the political establishment he blames that had acknowledged Rao’s contribution to the development of science and technology by giving him Bharat Ratna. India’s first government after Independence sought to build “scientific temper” and gave a boost to scientific research and innovation. If successive governments have drifted away from the vision of indigenous science and engineering as a path to development, the administrators cannot shun their responsibility.

    Prof Rao’s contribution to Indian science is laudable and the government has acknowledged it. However, as one of India’s senior most science administrators he could have done much better by fighting more aggressively for greater investment in research and innovation. It is time India’s scientists and science administrators came out of their ivory towers and, with others, led from the front to force the government to allocate adequate funds so that India can regain its glory and compete with nations like China and South Korea, whose high investments in science are reflected in innovation.

    Science administrators must lead from front - The New Indian Express

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