Published On: Wed, Jun 1st, 2011

IITs, IISc are not world’s best: Prof CNR Rao

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The Chairman of Scientific Advisory Council to Prime Minister and noted scientist C.N.R. Rao has said that IITs and the Indian Institute of Science [IISc.] are not the best in the world. Prof Rao’s comments assume importance after Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has openly criticized the quality of research and faculty of IITs and IIMs recently. However, Rao has made it clear that his statement has nothing to do with Mr. Ramesh’s remarks. He declined to comment on the Minister’s remarks.

Prof Rao was addressing the inaugural session of a one-day seminar on “Frontiers of nanotechnology” organised here by the Karnataka State Higher Education Council, Professor Rao said: “The saddest thing is that not even a single research institute in India matches the best in the world, or MIT and Cambridge.”

The noted scientist attributed the lag in the research to India’s late beginning in the research and development work and poverty came in the way of research in the earlier days.

Expressing concern over the status of scientific research in the country, Rao opined, “We [Indians] do not work hard. Twelve hours of research a day is needed seven days a week if one wants to become a good scientist. There are hardly 10 scientists from India who are a household name in the world.”

But Professor Rao has mentioned that India has the potential to do well. “India has more brilliant people than any other country. Sixty per cent of India’s population is from villages. It is these villages that have the best of brains. This is where our hope is. Those from big cities like Bangalore are more interested in money and they will not make much contribution to the future of the country’s research.”

He also stressed on the immediate need to focus on the nanotechnology revolution and reap the benefits of it. Rao has also pointed out that India has missed the semiconductor revolution, “Semiconductor became a cottage industry in countries like Taiwan and Singapore. Similarly, India should make nanotechnology a cottage industry to get the full advantage from this technological revolution.”

Pointing out that presently 18 per cent of the world’s science research was from the U.S. while 13 per cent was from China, he said the trend was set to be reversed in the next three years.

[Source: The Hindu]