Shillong: Contending that the government has laid down the foundation to foster research, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday asked scientists to promote younger talent and strengthen leadership in universities and research institutions.
“The best science is done by young people. Our institutions must be receptive to the needs of the young people. They must promote younger talent and allow youth to lead,” he said inaugurating the 96th Indian Science Congress at the picturesque North Eastern Hill University campus.
Singh said the government can at best ease the supply side constraints on teaching and research and the demand side stimulus must come from institutions and the industry.
“India is lagging behind not just developed western nations, but also the newly industrialising economies of Asia,” Singh said adding that while the government is doing its bit to ensure quantitative development, the leadership for qualitative development must come from the scientific community.
“Our universities must do more to foster a research environment.
“We need strengthening of institutional leadership in universities and research institutions,” the Prime Minister said.
Seniority and age may be relevant in the bureaucratic system, but scientific institutions must be led by intellectual leaders, irrespective of age, he said.
Singh asked the industry to invest more in research and development and boost the demand for science and technology graduates and researchers.
Regretting that India lags behind even some newly-industrialising nations of Asia in research, the Prime Minister pitched for a “new wave” of investments from private sector to provide stimulus to scientific development.
Citing the role of public investment in nuclear energy, space and defence related industry in creating a demand for science graduates, the Prime Minister said, “We need a new wave of such investment from the private sector so that young people will be encouraged to seek a career in science.”
The Prime Minister said while the government is doing its bit to ensure quantitative development, the leadership for qualitative development must come from the scientific community.