President APJ Abdul Kalam has urged the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to follow the example of one of the finest US universities -- the Stanford University - which had created an environment that produced so many highly successful start-up companies.
Inaugurating the first IISc Global Conference 2007 through a video link on Saturday, Kalam suggested that India's first premier institution, founded in Bangalore in 1998, look at "the outstanding contributions made by Stanford University in nurturing small start-up companies with novel ideas that went on to become global giants."
The President said he had discussed with scientists and professors the next phase of IISc and he had received a number of responses.
Some, he said, foresee the birth from IISc of an innovation comparable to the genesis of Internet, grid computing and gene coded drugs in the near future, while others visualise it to emerge as a world research powerhouse.
IISc could become "a major catalyst for entrepreneurial boom in the country that would transform Indian graduates from employment seekers to employment generators."
Kalam said he was hopeful that the results of IISc Global Conference will enrich the IISc and thereby the country, which hoped to be one of the best places to live by the year 2020.
By the year 2020, Kalam said, India hoped to be a nation where there is an equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water; which is the best destination for the most talented scholars, scientists and investors; where the best of health care is available to all; and where the governance is responsive and transparent.
India hoped to be a nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removed and crimes against women and children are absent and none in the society feels alienated, Kalam said.
The President said to meet the challenges of such missions for the nation, the Indian Institute of Science has to have the vision for the next few decades.
The components of the vision, he said, could include the IISc focusing and becoming known for its pioneering research at least in five areas of science and technology and conceiving and conducting a special programme on convergence of technology with continuous update.
He advocated that IISc prepare the research roadmap for the nation for the next three decades in macro terms keeping in mind that India while growing very fast in manufacturing and services sector is still stagnant in agricultural sector.
"There is a need for agriculture sector to grow to immediately at 4 per cent per annum even with constraints of availability of land, water and the labour force."
He urged the institute to become a partner in the World Knowledge Platform to promote world class knowledge creation, knowledge dissemination and knowledge sharing among partners.
The President suggested creating an IISc-Virtual Education Hub - so that the quality education from IISc can reach out to the entire nation. It should also act as a Virtual Collaborative Hub, which will become the platform for the scientists, researchers from IISc, worldwide scientists and Nobel laureates to share their knowledge among students and faculty across India.
"Finally, IISc should get transformed into International Institute of Science, where scientists and technologists from large number of countries should work towards solving many problems facing the humanity such as climate change, energy, water, health care and materials resources."