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Liberate science from red tape: PM
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JAN 3 (IANS):
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Published on 4 Jan. 2010 12:28 AM IST
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Unveiling his vision for making India a 21st century knowledge power, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday called for “liberating” Indian science from red-tape and cronyism and also to attract Indian origin researchers to work in the country to “convert brain drain into brain gain”. Addressing around 6,500 scientists from across the country and overseas, Manmohan Singh firmly put the upgradation of India’s scientific and technological capabilities at the heart of the country’s aspirations to “re-emerge as a knowledge power in the 21st century”. The prime minister, however, identified the dominance of red tape and favouritism as some of key areas holding back the Indian scientific community from realising its huge untapped potential. “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,” Manmohan Singh said after inaugurating the 97th Indian Science Congress (ISC 2010) here. “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,” Manmohan Singh said. In this context, Manmohan Singh also recalled the names of other pioneering scientists like Meghnad Saha, J.C. Bose, Homi Bhaba, Vikram Sarabhai and Satish Dhawan. To encourage the culture of innovation, the prime minister made a compelling case for a radical change of mindset of all the stakeholders in the community of scientists, researchers and university administration. To convert ‘brain drain’ of the past into a ‘brain gain’, the prime minister 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 said at the five-day premier science event. Stressing that his government has declared 2010-2020 as the “Decade of Innovations”, Manmohan Singh underlined the need for “new solutions in many areas to achieve our goals of inclusive and sustainable growth - in healthcare, in energy, in urban infrastructure, in water management and in transportation”. Exhorting the scientific community to shed smugness, the prime minister called for solutions that are germane to the needs of developing countries. “We cannot continue with business as usual. Solutions from developed countries available are also not applicable all the time. They are often too costly and at times not sustainable,” he said. He also called for dismantling compartmentalization of scientific endeavours to realise India’s ambitions of promoting world-class research.

 
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