PU on Sunday. Sumit Malhotra
His optimism and passion towards science is infectious. He is an institution in himself, and believes that real science is done in small laboratories by people who are mad about it.
Distinguished scientist and Bharat Ratna Awardee Professor Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao, 79, was in the city on Sunday to interact with students and deliver a lecture on ‘Doing Science in India’ at PGI. “People think that launching rockets and making bombs is science, but there is no real science in that and it is only an asymmetry technology. Real science is done in small laboratories by individuals from universities and educational institutions,” Rao said. While talking about science in India he said, “If India has to produce good scientists quality of science has to be promoted. The money invested from the GDP needs to be increased like in South Korea and China,” He said, “To persist with science, a scientist cannot afford to be angry particularly in India and has to face critics with a sense of humour. A scientist has to be mad about his work and deal with a judgemental society. Personal satisfaction and enjoyment help achieve the goal.”
Prof Rao talked about the pain and pleasure of being a successful scientist. “We have a large number of bright students but they need to work for science in India selflessly. I need only 15 per cent of sharp IIT students working for national projects and the condition will begin to change.” He also spoke about how some of the famous scientists of the past like Faraday worked with minimal facilities and grants.
Professor Yogesh Chawla, Director PGI said, “Professor Rao has been influential in formulating the country’s science policies over the years. He has been the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to five former Prime Ministers. He is the third Scientist to receive Bharat Ratna after CV Raman and Abdul Kalam.”
Professor Arun K Grover, vice-chancellor, Panjab University said that Professor Rao was the most deserving candidate for the Nobel Prize.