Bharat Ratna nominee C N R Rao on Monday denied calling politicians idiots for not funding science adequately. He said he had called governments science funding idiotic and that he was miquoted.
Rao said his intention was only to point out the inadequate funding that science receives in India rather than target anybody specifically. The comments made on Sunday must be viewed as criticism by a person who knows his field well,he said.
Our investment in science is not good. It is a bit idiotic,thats what I said. Unfortunately,they dont understand the priority. That is what I said, Rao said.
The 79-year-old said he regretted using the word idiot. I didnt call anybody an idiot. I will never use that word again,I didnt realise that people will see it as somebody being called an idiot. I didnt call anyone an idiot, he said.
Speaking to people who had gathered at his residence following his nomination for Bharat Ratna with cricketer Sachin Tendulkar,Rao had lamented on Sunday that government science funding was only 20 or 30 per cent of demands made by scientists before annual budgets.
The scientific advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was quoted as saying in the course of a discussion on science funding that these idiots,these politicians have given so little for us.
On Monday,Rao suggested the use of the word idiot was more in the context of the level of funding for science being idiotic.