Friday, 2 March 2012

Science Research in Indian Universities

"EXCELLENCE IN SCIENCE RESEARCH in INDIAN UNIVERSITIES"- This was the theme of the 98th Science Congress held in Jan 2011 (Chennai). Prime Minister Singh noted that universities are a vital link in science teaching and research. There is a need to create an 'innovation ecosystem' such that innovation becomes a 'way of life'. GOI has established 8 IITs and 5 Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research. Pandit Nehru  said,
"Universities stand for humanism, tolerance,  reason,  progress,  the adventure of ideas and for the search for truth. They stand for the onward march of the human race towards even higher objectives. If the universities discharge their duties adequately, all will be well with the nation and the people". [Nehru, J. 1947. Allahabad University]
Universities should encourage creativity and genius and not be held captive by bureaucracy and procedure.
Economic growth, public health and national security are all dependent on growth of S&T. Nonetheless this knowledge should be used for public good as the negative use of this can cause great harm to society. 
"I am compelled to fear that science will be used to promote the power of dominant groups rather than to make men happy". [Bertrand Russel]   
The rapid growth of S&T  must also be accompanied by a social debate on the ethical uses of the same. As Isaac Asimov said "Science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom".
Another key point is to increase the linkages between research in universities and industry so that the innovations can be translated into products within our country. Singh noted that even today the instruments using the 'Raman effect' principle are imported. To address this GOI is working to put in place better integration of corporates with industry so that required skills can be imparted in univ itself utilising resources better and reducing time and resources required in re-skilling. 
The PM noted the lack of youth interested in scientific research saying that though, 'science is ageless, our scientists must get younger'. 

Initiatives by GOI
  • National Celebration of the birth centenary of Prof. S. Chandrashekhar.
  • Yr 2010-13 to be designated as "Year of Science in India' to mark the centenary of the Indian Science Congress.
  • INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research)- a prog to attract the best talent to scientific research
  • National Knowledge Network- a high-speed network that will encourage collaborations between researchers within India and with  those abroad. This will help strengthen our teaching and research base.
  • BEST (Building Educators for Science Teaching)- a joint of the initiative MHRD and Ministry of S&T. 
  • PURSE (Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence)- initiated by MoST in 2008. The scheme rewards universities based on research output. Universities are then provided research incentive grants    
  • Science and Engineering Board ((SERB)- a statutory autonomous board to enhance basic research funding.
  • S&T ministry has begun two initiatives for developing  technologies for societal benefits-  'Technological Intervention for Addressing Societal Needs' (TIASN), Technological Intervention for Elderly (TIE).
  • promotion of scientific awareness among children- Children's Science Congress, Science Express, 'Eco-WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) Awareness and Literacy'.

Summarised from speeches of Prime Minister and Minister S&T at the 98th Indian Science Congress.

No comments:

Post a Comment