Sunday, November 17, 2013

CNR Rao calls politicians 'idiots'; Are they alone in that category?

"... for the money that government has given to scientific sector, we have done much more," he retorted.

"... Why the hell these idiots these politicians have given so little for us. Inspire of that we scientists have done something..." - TOI

Politicians may never imagined that, they would get such a reply soon after announcing Bharat Ratna to one of India's renowned scientist. Even if they knew, does it matter? Now-a-days public, media, bankers, industrialists etc. are so often calling them different names. In short, it doesn’t matter!!!

Still, I would like to say something about Mr. Rao's statement. It is true that a certain politician in UP thought, it is more important to create huge number of mammoth statues than to invest something in Science. It is true that another politician in a big Indian state found it essential to spent huge amount of money on irrigation projects (which hardly created any additional water flow) than to invest the same in a scientific establishment. It is true that, India is always ready to increase salaries of lawmakers than to give higher pay to scientists. It is true that politicians are ready to spent government money to buy TV to every household, in return for votes. It is true that, government is willing to burn enormous amount of cash to support a public airline - which hardly do any national service – than investing the same in scientific projects. Ready to recapitalize the banks which are competitively acquiring more NPA.

But isn’t it also true that, whatever money government is spending (that is not a small amount) is not creating proportional results? How many college professors/lectures are writing at least one article/year in a well-known international journal? What happened to enormous amount of money India spend in various projects? How many times we are hearing the cry for technological transfer (from foreign companies)? Why we are struggling to produce a native replacement for Bofors guns, even after having the drawings? How many aircraft engines we produced - original research - even after some labs are tirelessly working for a long time? Why Tejas is flying with a foreign engine? Even after having such a huge number of scientists in the payroll, how may high quality research papers are produced in a year? Why India’s import bill for electronics is rising so fast (soon it may even overrun India’s oil import bill)?

Probably My Rao is correct on his statement. I appreciate his balancing part as well.

“We also have to take blame on ourselves, Indians we don't work hard, we are not like Chinese. We are easy going and we are not as much nationalists ... If we get some-more money we are ready to go abroad." - TOI

With one leg we can't go fast. Along with funding we need a visionary, efficient administration and inspirational guiding figures to take us to the front line of scientific research. Otherwise the dreams of Satish Dhawan, Vikram Sarabhai, H.J. Baba etc will remain as dream only.



1 comment:

  1. There is a fine line between self esteem and being an "attention seeker". On this prestigious occasion, when he could have been more gracious, Mr Rao has instead chosen to adopt a cynical and judgemental posture on a number of topics.