?Breaking News? missing in Indian science, says Harsh Vardhan

NTD HarshVardhan 1105New Delhi (ISJ) ? Indian Science and Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vadhan laments, the scientific establishment in the country do not produce any cutting-edge invention worth ?Breaking News?. Addressing the Technology Day function in New Delhi on May 11, Dr. Harsh Vadhan said, he finds lack of lab-to-people linkage.

?Science and research and publications under patents, they probably have not much of a meaning. They can give you great pleasure, but unless we can connect them to people, I feel this is the time when we need to have a re-look at everything,? said Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

The minister said, without the luxury of high-tech instruments, Indian scientists of yesteryears produced world-class innovations, earning Nobel Prizes, but there is no such zeal amongst the scientific community today.

Dr. Harsh Vadhan Minister also was critical of senior scientists, saying they do not groom or take young scientists into confidence.

?Whenever I go to the laboratories, I talk to the head of the department and I ask him, you are here for 40 years, did you ever had a honest brainstorming session with your junior colleagues, which lasted for 2-3 or four hours without any prejudice or bias for something which you want to innovate or for something you want to be developed, I find that is probably lacking,? he told a gathering of scientists and innovators from across the country. ?We need to innovate on issues which will provide real solutions to still unresolved problems of this country.?

Indian scientific community is also known for its ?crab syndrome?. The government?s failure to recognise a discovery made by biotechnologist Dr. K. Kannan cost the country a Nobel Prize in 2010. While Dr. Kannan was the first to discover the function of a molecule called ubiquitin in 1998 while working at a laboratory in Surat, the Nobel Prize for the same was shared by two Israeli and an American scientists 12 years later. Ubiquitin gives the ?kiss of death? to unwanted proteins inside the cells by marking them out for destruction and thus defending the body from certain types of cancer.

PM TDMsg 1105Dr. Harsh Vardhan was critical of absence of coordination amongst scientific institutions, where ?same research is happening in various laboratories?. The minister called for a reassessment of the scientific strategy in a focussed manner.

The minister felicitated three scientists ? Professor Manindra Agarwal of the IIT-Kanpur, Prof. Ajay Sood of Indian Institute of Science Bangalore. The third scientist, Dr. Satyajit Mayor, Director of National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore could not attend the function, as he was indisposed.

Technology Day commemorates India?s nuclear test at Pokhran on May 11, 1998. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his twitter message said, ?11th May is a very special day in India?s history?.The tests were possible due to stellar work of our scientists. They were a victory of technology.?

In a tweet, former President Dr. APJ Abul Kalam said, ?I remember the hot day of 1998 at Pokhran: 53C, when most of the world was sleeping, India?s nuclear era emerged.?

Image courtesy: PIB/PM?s Tweets


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