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 N R Murthy pines for more science research in India

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suresh@nitk



Posts : 22
Join date : 2009-02-07

PostSubject: N R Murthy pines for more science research in India   Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:47 am

Bangalore: Infosys Technologies Chairman and Chief mentor N.R. Narayana
Murthy Tuesday called upon Indian scientists to focus more on research
and innovation to catch up with their counterparts in the developed
countries.

"In the last 25 years, we have taken our eyes off the radar screen as
far as progress in Indian science and technology is concerned," Murthy
said while announcing the setting up of the Infosys Science Foundation
to promote advanced research in science and technology.







The foundation will award five top Indian scientists Rs.5 million each
every year in recognition of their outstanding research contributions
and achievements across various sciences.

"We are at a point from where extraordinary things our first prime
minister Jawaharlal Nehru did by putting India on the global higher
education have started to fall off the pedestal," Murthy lamented.

Stressing that focus on higher education was extremely important,
Murthy said no country in the world had succeeded in solving the
problems of its people, including basic issues, without a sound higher
education system.

"For instance, the U.S. universities currently employ 70 percent of the
world's Nobel Prize winners. About 30 percent of the entire world's
articles in science and engineering and 44 percent of the most
frequently cited articles are from the US," Murthy pointed out.

Reeling out more stats, Murthy said India had just two universities in
the world's top 500 universities. In fact, no Indian university figures
among the world's top 300 universities, while Japan has 34, China 18,
South Korea seven and Brazil four.

"The absence of research excellence has seriously impacted Indian
scientific and technological output. And if it has not impacted yet, it
is likely to in the near future if corrective steps are not taken now,"
Murthy observed.

Similarly, India ranks a lowly 119th of the 149 countries in the citation index.

A McKinsey study found that a typical Indian Institute of Technology
(IIT) faculty was granted six-eight patents in a year as against 64
patents for Stanford engineering faculty and 102 for MIT engineering
faculty in a year.

"India filed for 365 patents in 2004 compared to 84,271 by the US, 35,350 by Japan and 5,938 by Taiwan," the study said.

Referring to the glorious contribution of Homi Bhabha in nuclear
science, of Vikram Sarabhai in space science, of M.S. Swaminathan in
agriculture science and by Sam Pitroda in telecommunications from the
1960s to the 1980s, Murthy regretted that the country had not seen any
major scientific or technical adoption since then.

"To be fair, steps have been taken in the last three-four years. I am
happy that in the interim budget, acting finance minister Pranab
Mukherjee announced that in the next five-year plan, the expenditure on
higher education would be increases by nine times - 19 percent of the
GDP (gross domestic product) as against 7.7 percent in the 10th plan,"
Murthy noted.
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