Danger of slowdown looms large over investments in science and research owing to poor economic conditions prevailing in the country, believes Ajay Kumar Sood, a renowned physicist and member of scientific advisory panel to the Prime Minister.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 79th annual meeting of Indian Academy of Sciences, Sood said that in the past 20 years, India had invested a lot of money in popularising science and promoting research.
“As a result, we have been able to achieve something in the recent past. But, due to poor economic conditions in the country there is a threat for future investments,” he said, adding that it may have an adverse effect on research.
An alumnus of Panjab University, Chandigarh, Sood teaches at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. He is a Padmashree awardee and a member of Indian Academy of Sciences.
“Look at the kind of growth our neighbours have made. Be it China, Korea… they were nowhere,” he said, adding that whatever India could achieve in terms of research was a result of government pumping in a lot of money in the recent years.
He lamented the fact that students and their parents now have started optimising everything in life.
Answering a question whether he was happy with the youngsters' approach today he said: “In those days, we were free to choose a career and pursued what we wanted to. But now, it appears that it has become secondary.”
He said education should be inclusive and should not be compartmentalised.
“Even IITs should teach humanities, languages. These subjects in research and other institutes will not dilute their standards of academia, rather, it would strengthen them,” Sood said.