Bharat Ratna Prof. C.N.R. Rao, D.Litt. (HC) FRS, FNA, FASc. Hon. FRSC said that Science was very essential for India’s future. Giving a Public Lecture on “Celebration of Science”, Prof. Rao spoke of its importance and said that application of Science was imperative for creation of technologies. If India has to have a bright future, it was essential that due focus is given to quality and excellence in education.
Talking about illustrious scientists and their course-changing contributions, Prof. Rao bemoaned that India lacked behind considerably in the world of science. No academic institution in India, he felt, had facilities comparable to the best in the world. Talking about the strength of Science, he said that it gave us power, honesty, fearlessness and unselfishness. Answering questions from the students, he said that the genius of a teacher lied in exposing students to new research ideas.
Earlier, Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia welcomed Bharat Ratna Prof. Rao. Talking about himself he said that he was a beneficiary of the schemes launched by the successive Governments of India on Prof. Rao’s recommendations for promotion of Science and Research in India.
The Public Lecture was attended by hundreds of students who had gathered in Dr. M.A. Ansari Auditorium, JMI to listen to the Bharat Ratna Awardee. They listened to the lecture with rapt attention and often applauded for his incisive comments.
Later, interacting with the media, Prof. Rao said that the quality of education in India needs to be considerably improved. The educational scenario in the country was undergoing a phenomenal change as 3-4 Crores children would come to higher education in near future given the huge influx of population. Though successive Governments have discussed enhancement of budgetary allocation to education, it unfortunately remains pegged at 2% of the GDP as against 6% that has often been demanded over years. If India needs to develop economically, it was mandatory that there were better teachers, better salary and better resources for Education. This would be possible only through enhancement of resources to Science and general education, he said. He quipped that one needs to ‘gallop to remain stationary’. Talking about China, he said that our neighbour was investing heavily in Science to become a global leader. He signed off by saying that ‘whoever ruled Science will rule the World’.
Bharat Ratna Prof. Rao and Prof. Talat Ahmad also issued a signed Joint-Statement on the importance of Science for India’s economic development and promotion of inter-institutional research.
[Jamia Millia Islamia press release dated March 25, 2015]