A PAUCITY of ideas for research, and not funds, is responsible for not getting desired funds sanctioned for scientific projects, said Professor Jayant Udgaonkar, the newly-appointed director of the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Pune.
Udgaonkar, who was addressing the media after assuming charge of the institute on Wednesday, said, “Science requires expensive instruments and facilities, which need funding. But problems pertaining to research are not limited to being denied funds, as scientists have also been unable to come up with good solutions for emerging problems.”
Researchers are also accountable for the tax payers’ money, which is why the need for finding practical solutions to newer problems is important, he added.
In August this year, scores of scientists across the country had organised a rally — ‘March for Science’ — seeking government’s attention towards the scientific works in the country. One of their demands was more funding for performing research.
Dr KN Ganesh, the outgoing director, said, “Though the government has to address problems faced by the citizens, we cannot go on ignoring science and its
Agreeing with Ganesh, Udgaonkar said, “The government appears to be involved in fixing the economy, which is perfectly right. But… we are hopeful that the government realises and improves investments in research activities”
IISER, Pune, secured the 29th rank in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) this year, which has also helped the institute in qualifying for the Institute of Excellence. IISERs in Kolkata and Mohali have also qualified for the race.
Ganesh said, “Being just a decade-old institute, research here (IISER,Pune) has been at par with the IITs. We are in the process of preparing a proposal and showcasing our areas of expertise and accomplished works.”
Udgaonkar, meanwhile, shared his plans for the institute. “Modern science is all about collaborations. There will be conscious efforts to include more inter-disciplinary courses, especially in frontier subjects like environment, climate sciences and energy,” he said.