INDIAN INSTITUTE of Science (Bangalore) director Prof P Balaram on Sunday said research activity had gone down in almost all the universities in the country over the past few years.
“If you want to do science, there should be no political interference in academic institutions,” Prof Balaram, who was at the Banaras Hindu University to attend an Indo-US symposium on Sunday, told HT. He called for a peaceful atmosphere in academic institutions so that researchers could concentrate on their subject.
Prof Balaram, a protein chemist of national and international fame, stressed the need to promote research activities.
He also delivered a lecture on “Haemoglobinopathies and Thalassemia” at the inaugural function of a three-day Indo-US Symposium on “Genetic Disorders: Focus on Haemoglobinopathies”, at Swatantrata Bhawan in Banaras Hindu University.
Alternation in protein structure (haemoglobin) led to diseases such as thalassemia and sickle cell anaemia, he said. The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum organised the symposium, in collaboration with the Zoology Department of the Banaras Hindu University. He discussed various structural changes in haemoglobin.
He also said, “Science is often driven by new technology rather than new concepts.” Banaras Hindu University vice-chancellor Prof Panjab Singh said the human genome had opened a very wide area of research. He called upon researchers to focus on such research activities that could benefit the society. Head of the Zoology Department Prof Mercy J. Raman told the audience about the activities and achievements of the department.
She said biology had evolved as a subject and now clinicians were more enthusiastic and research-oriented. She said there was no divide between scientists and clinicians anymore.
Science Faculty dean Prof T. Lal delivered the welcome address. Convenor Prof Rajiv Raman established the theme of the symposium. Organising secretary Dr Sujata Sinha proposed a formal vote of thanks.
Later, Dr. T. Singer of the Haematology/Oncology Children’s Hospital and Research Centre at Oakland in the US delivered a lecture on `Management of Transfusion-Dependent Thalassemia: Overview and Standard of Care’.
Dr J. Chandra of the Lady Hardinge Medical College and Kalawati Saram Children’s Hospital (New Delhi) dwelt on “Adult Thalassemics: Problems and Solutions.”