Red tape, political interference regress Indian science: PM

By Fakir Balaji, IANS,

Thiruvananthapuram : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday regretted that red tape, political interference and lack of recognition of good work contributed to a regression in Indian science in some sectors.

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“It is unfortunately true that red tape, political interference and lack of proper recognition of good work have all contributed to a regression in Indian science in some sectors from the days of (Nobel laureate) C.V. Raman and other great pioneers of Indian science,” Singh said after inaugurating the 97th Indian Science Congress (ISC 2010) here.

In this context, Singh also recalled the names of other pioneering scientists like Meghnad Saha, J.C. Bose, Homi Bhaba, Vikram Sarabhai and Satish Dhawan.

Admitting that changing the mindset of senior faculty and university administration was the hardest thing to do, Singh said more than funds to improve science, a radical change in the mindset of the stakeholders was imperative.

“I invite you to explore all these issues and engage with us to liberate Indian science from the shackles of deadweight of bureaucratism and in-house favouritism,” Singh told the scientific community.

To reverse the trend and improve standards, the prime minister also urged the scientific institutions to propose mechanisms for greater autonomy, including autonomy from the government.

To convert ‘brain drain’ of the past into a ‘brain gain’, Singh called for special efforts to encourage scientists of Indian origin working abroad to return to the homeland and work at universities and scientific institutions in the country, at least for a short period.

“This will require special incentives. We need to think creatively on how this can be done so that high quality minds are attracted to teaching and research,” Singh told about 6,500 delegates from across the country and overseas, participating in the five-day premier science event.