Thursday, December 02, 2021

Promote research to retain bright minds: President

"Knowledge is going to be the order of this age," the President said.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
February 13, 2017 6:22:06 pm
Pranab Mukherjee, research, scholars, India education, higher education India, India universities, Nobel Prize India, education news, indian express news “No Indian scholar working in an Indian university, has won a Nobel Prize since 1930, when C V Raman, did it over 80 years ago,” the President said.

President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday exhorted students to take up more research at higher education institutions, as he questioned if “lack of conducive atmosphere” in academia was pushing the best talent towards regular jobs instead of critical research.

Mukherjee also urged them to foster a spirit of inquiry, saying, “Knowledge is going to be the order of this age.”

“We have excellent IITs, NITs, management development institutions, where campus recruitment is very high, almost 100 per cent. And, many of the graduates from these top colleges are heading world-class institutions around the world. That is the bright side of it, and it makes me happy.

“But I am equally unhappy that no Indian scholar working in an Indian university, has won a Nobel Prize since 1930, when C V Raman, did it over 80 years ago. Therefore, the question is, perhaps we have not been able to create the kind of atmosphere conducive to do research,” he said.

The President was addressing a select gathering at the iconic Yellow Drawing Room of the Rashtrpati Bhavan, to mark the closing of the centenary celebrations of Ramjas College.

He also released a centenary commemorative stamp and a special volume on the history of the college, set up in 1917.

“Surely, it is a good job to promote the production of a marketing company but surely promotion of sale of a detergent (brand) does not require the skill of an IIT graduate,” Mukherjee said.

“If they had given time and energy to do research, the country would have benefited much more. But, we should not put the onus squarely on these students and graduates… There is no dearth of talent in our country, but perhaps we need to build that atmosphere conducive for doing research, if we need to retain the bright minds,” he said.

“We need to create the atmosphere and the students and faculty and administrators all would have to work collectively,” he added.

The President also made a reference to a global ranking of top 200 universities, in which till two years ago, no Indian university had figured. “Later, only, two universities made the cut, at lower positions in the subsequent ranking.”

Mukherjee also recalled the life of famed mathematician Vashishtha Narayan Singh, hailing from a small town in Bihar, accomplished in the field of research at University of California.

“I read about his life… and there were two teachers who ignited their ambition in him, and his spirit of inquiry made him the achiever,” he said.

“We are a country of 1.3 billion people, 200 languages and dialects, multi-ethnicity, and I wonder how this diversity called India is managed. And, we not only manage it but celebrate it… India has always encouraged questions, we have always accepted the argumentative Indian but not the intolerant,” the President said.

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