Published On: Wed, Feb 29th, 2012

P Palaniappan : Universities lack research culture

EduShine Academic Search

Tamil Nadu Higher education minister P Palaniappan criticised educational institutions in the state for lacking a “research culture” and asked universities and colleges to rise above mediocrity.

Addressing academics and students during National Science Day celebrations at University of Madras, the minister said, “The government’s efforts will be futile if educational institutions are lethargic when it comes to innovation.”

Palaniappan said the government’s policy note on higher education proposed that laboratories in colleges and universities be equipped to match world standards. The government is committed to the cause and allocation of funds, he said, but educational institutions and other stakeholders should work out the details for implementation.

“While private players like Motorola and GE have created world-class technology hubs in the country, our institutions, private or public, have been unable to do so,” he said.

Quoting C N R Rao, chief of scientific advisory council to the PM, the minister said low pay was no longer an issue in Indian science. “Professors and researchers are now paid decent salaries,” Palaniappan said. “What we need are strong research centres, led by eminent scientists. Unless there is good research, effective teaching is not possible and vice-versa. All our institutions should transform into research-cum-teaching hubs.” Renowned researchers will attract bright students, he said, and this will provide credibility to university departments. “This, in turn, will bring in funds from industries and R&D laboratories for research projects,” Palaniappan said.